Food & Entertaining - Garden to Table

Simple tomato and basil risotto

Ross Dobson
Photography by
Peter Cassidy

Create this creamy dish with fresh plum tomatoes for a heartier summer meal

It’s hard to beat a simple risotto made with fresh seasonal ingredients. Here summer-ripe tomatoes and sweet basil are stirred into buttery semi-cooked rice; the rice should be a little softened around the edges but firm to the bite.

Serves 4

  • 3 fresh plum tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup dry vermouth
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large trimmed leek, sliced
  • ½ cup Arborio rice
  • 1 large handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
  • ½ cup finely grated
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out and discard as many seeds as possible. Finely dice the flesh and set aside.

Pour the stock and vermouth in a medium saucepan set over low heat. Place 1 tbsp of the butter and the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and set over medium heat. Add the garlic and leek and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, until shiny and glossy.

Add about ¼ cup of the hot stock mixture to the rice and stir constantly, until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed. Add another ¼ cup to the pan, stirring until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock mixture a little at a time and stirring, until all the stock has been used and the rice is just tender. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, Parmesan, and remaining butter until well combined. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately. 

Exerpted from The Wholesome Kitchen by Ross Dobson
. Copyright © 2010 Ross Dobson. Excerpted by permission of Ryland, Peters & Small. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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