A bunch of years ago when my hubby and I had just started dating, we went on a dinner date to a restaurant called The Risotto House. I remember that neither one of us were sure what risotto was and had to ask the waiter, who as I recall, looked at us like we were complete morons.
Fast forward to now, and I get why the server thought the idea of us not being familiar with risotto was slightly ridiculous. I’ve since eaten it out at restaurants many times in Italy and also here in the states, and have made some awesome meals centering around it, including my recent dinner of sun-dried tomato risotto balls. Risotto is an Italian rice dish, that, when cooked the right way patiently standing over the stovetop continuously stirring it, comes out creamy and bursting with flavor. The other night, I tried a risotto dish that I found on Health.com: risotto with fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes and basil.
I just love a simple caprese salad. Mozzarella, olive oil, basil, fresh tomatoes, balsamic – what’s not to love? And since I also love risotto, I knew that the two would be a match made in heaven.
- 4½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- 1 chopped leek
- 3 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup half-and-half
- 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 5 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1 TSP salt
- ¼ TSP pepper
- Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Keep warm.
- In another large saucepan, heat 1 TBSP of olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped leek, saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Add Arborio rice and cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring.
- Stir in the white wine, and cook until the liquid is nearly absorbed, constantly stirring.
- Stir in about a cup of broth, then cook until all of the liquid is nearly absorbed, 4-5 minutes. Stir constantly.
- Add the remaining broth, around ½ cup at a time, stirring the whole time until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next. This will take around half an hour.
- Stir in half-and-half, salt, and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat. In another small, heavy saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium heat. Cook until slightly syrupy, about 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, stir the tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella into the rice. Mix to combine well, and pour into a pasta serving dish.
- Drizzle the syrupy balsamic over top the risotto, and enjoy!
I hope you all have a fun weekend ahead of you. This evening Adam and I are meeting up with our good friends Angi and John (and their adorable baby girl!), who are in town for a few days, then in the morning we’re heading up to San Jose to look for a place to live when we move up there in just a few weeks!! Wish us luck!