Before this dish, I’d never made risotto before. Somewhere rattling around in the back of my brain I vaguely remembered hearing it was difficult to make, but I didn’t really focus on that. I just put a bunch of water in a pot, got it boiling, threw the risotto in by handfuls, and let it simmer for about 16 minutes with the cover on. I tried it and it was just a bit chewy, so I let it go another 2 minutes. Then I stirred it around a bit before dumping it in a colander and shaking it.
I did pretty much everything you could do WRONG to this dish and it still turned out amazingly flavorful.
I’ve since read recipes that say to add broth a little at a time until it’s done and that just sounds fiddly to me. I don’t know. Maybe this could have turned out better, but the creaminess of the risotto with the fresh mozzarella cubes was delicious. But the real proof? Our 3 year old ate two bowls of it!
Tomato Basil Risotto with Fresh Mozzarella
Source: Fresh Meals from the editors of Organic Style
- 2 c. uncooked Arborio rice
- 2 T. EVOO
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 c. lightly packed fresh basil leaves, stemmed and torn in half
- 1/2 t. sea salt
- 1/8 t. black pepper
- 1 T. balsalmic vinegar
- 3 – 4 Roma tomatoes, cut into chunks
- 2 egg-size pieces fresh mozzarella, cubed
- Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Sprinkle in the rice by the fistful. When the water returns to a boil, stir once, lower the heat, and simmer until the rice is al dente, 15 - 18 minutes.
- While the rice cooks, heat the EVOO in a large skillet over a low flame. Stir in the garlic; then sprinkle in the basil. After a couple of minutes (when the garlic is translucent), mix in the salt, pepper, vinegar, and tomatoes. Gently turn the tomatoes once or twice to coat them with the flavored oil, warming them through but not cooking them down into a sauce.
- Drain the rice in a sieve or colander, but don’t shake it dry. Turn it into a warmed serving bowl. Immediately sprinkle in the mozzarella cubes, a few at a time, stirring with each addition so that they don’t clump together. Then gently mix in the contents of the skillet, and serve.