Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Roast garlic & tomatoes risotto with parmesan crisps

Top: Parmesan piles, bottom: Parmesan crisps

Ingredients for this dish are quite similar to those used in my linguine alla trapanese, but today I am serving rice instead of a pasta. Based on the popularity of trapanese recipe I reckon I don't have to introduce all these lovely summer ingredients again.  This is one of our favourite summer dishes and it is a shame that here in Yorkshire we don't have summer at all this year whilst my friends in Poland are complaining about the heat. At least I have my bowl of summer risotto that I can comfort myself with in this rainy and rather cold weather. 

Serves 2-4

250g arborio rice (or some other risoto rice)
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
two handfuls of baby tomatoes 
2-3 springs of fresh thyme
4-6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 łtbsp balsamic vinegar (supermarket bought will do)
half tsp brown sugar (I used dark muscovado)
about 1.2 l vegetable stock, hot (preferably homemade)
175ml dry white wine
2 tbsp butter
6 tbsp freshly grated parmesan (or vegetarian option)
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 180 C. 

Line a baking tray with some kitchen foil and place tomatoes, garlic on it. Drizzle with tbsp of olive oil. Then drizzle tomatoes only with the vinagar, sprinkle with sugar and little salt and add thyme springs. Place in the oven.

On another baking tray lined with some baking paper pour 2-4 heaping tablespoons (according to the number of servings) of parmesan and lightly pat down. Bake until cheese is melted and golden. Remove from the oven and leave it to cool down slightly. When cooled down using large knife gently lift them from a baking tray.

Fry the shallot in 2 remaining tbsp of olive oil in a deep pan until slightly softened but not browned. Add the rice, and fry stirring until it starts to turn translucent. Next add the wine and cook, stirring until wine is absorbed. Next add a ladle of hot stock and stir. and turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladles of stock, stirring – you will notice a creamy starch from the rice. This is why you have to allow each ladle to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 15 minutes, until the rice is cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

In the meantime tomatoes should be roasted and ready. Remove from the oven, take the thyme springs and pick some of the leaves from the springs - add to the risotto. Squeeze the roast garlic out of its skins and roughly chop then add to the rice. Stir and remove from the heat.

Add the remaining parmesan, butter and stir well and allow to rest for about 2-3 minutes. Please bear in mind when I took this photograph it rested in a hot bowl so it lost some of its creaminess.

Place in serving bowls, top with roast tomatoes, some fresh thyme leaves if you have any left and with parmesan crisp. Serve immediately.


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