Tomato Zucchini Risotto with Basil


Sad as I am that summer is coming to an end, I am still utterly THRILLED that tomato season is getting underway! This week’s CSA basket included 10 (ten!!) gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, for which I have been saving no less than 5 recipes. That decision is for another day.

Today, like many other days on my blog, is about tomatoes, zucchini, and basil. Basing myself in Pink Parsley’s recipe, I switched out the olive oil for more butter (this is not a diet risotto), got rid of the dried herbs for fresh basil (thank you CSA!!), and cut out the tomato juice in favour of more tomatoes. I didn’t have chicken or vegetable stock on hand, so I fashioned my own (see below).

3 tablespoons salted butter (if you use unsalted, you will need to add salt while cooking)

3 small yellow onions (or 1 medium yellow onion), diced

1 cup Arborio risotto rice

3/4 cup dry white wine (if you don’t have this, use white grape juice or a few dashes of lemon juice)

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (see below for my home-made version)

1 zucchini, quartered and sliced

10-15 fresh basil leaves, chopped finely

2 medium tomatoes

1/2 cup romano cheese (or any hard salty cheese), grated

Dice the tomatoes and let them drain in a colander over a bowl. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onions in the butter until translucent. Add the rice and cook for one additional minute, stirring constantly. Continue stirring and add the white wine. Once the wine has been almost fully absorbed, add one cup of the chicken stock, stirring constantly. Only add more stock once the previous cupful has been fully absorbed. Continue to stir, adding the last cup of chicken stock, the zucchini, and the basil. Once the liquid has nearly been absorbed, add the tomato juice that accumulated in the bowl and stir. Once that is absorbed, add the cheese, and then the tomatoes, stirring to combine. Serve immediately.

Faux-Stock Recipe

3 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons rosemary

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Heat all ingredients in a medium pot over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the spices in the water. Keep the mixture heated as you add cupfuls to the risotto.

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