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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Roasted Cherry Tomato Risotto

These cherry tomatoes from the farmer's market were intended for bruschetta, until I saw this awesome roasted cherry tomato recipe on Leite's Culinaria from Heidi Swanson's cookbook and I knew their destiny was changed. I decided to add them to a risotto because it would let the tomatoes shine.

For the tomatoes, you stem and cut in half about a pint of cherry tomatoes. Then you mix a cup of olive oil, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt together. You pour that over the tomatoes, toss and arrange them cut side up on a baking sheet. Roast at 350 F for 45 min to an hour. Pretty simple, and darn delicious.

I cheated on the risotto and used my rice cooker because I didn't feel like stirring over a hot stove. I cooked a cup of rice along with a can of chicken broth and enough water for a total of 2 cups liquid. During the last bit of the rice cooking, I sauteed a chopped onion in a saucepan for about 8 minutes and then added 2 cloves of minced garlic for another minute. I turned off the heat and added the rice once it was done. A 1/2 cup of mozzarella and some peppercorn melange finished the dish. Funny thing, I didn't realize my peppercorn melange was anything different from a variety of peppercorns until I tasted it. It was good, but not what I expected. The ingredients also listed allspice, so if you season with pepper and allspice that should have a similar flavor. Or you can use whatever spice rocks your boat.

We stuck the tomatoes on top of the risotto and ate! We both really enjoyed it that night on it's own and as leftovers the next with some grilled chicken. I'd definitely make it again, but I might use less sugar since the tomatoes were quite sweet. If I was feeling healthy I'd use less cheese, but we'll see.

If you want to make real risotto, you can find some great instructions here.

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