Happy Birthday Nox! One of the rookies on my ultimate frisbee team came to visit from Texas this weekend, and it was her birthday weekend, so we did all sorts of fun things! LA has lots of cool events during the summer, such as free Shakespeare in Griffith Park and DineLA. We watched The Taming of the Shrew one night, which was pretty cool, especially since it’s free, and we went to Taberna Arros Y Vi, a Spanish tapas place, for dinner another night, which was quite delicious. However, for her actual birthday dinner, we had a home-cooked meal of caprese risotto, with chocolate chip cookie dough brownies for dessert! The brownies were pretty delicious, but today’s post is about the caprese risotto. I love all things caprese, and I also love risotto, and since all the flavors are summer flavors, it seemed like a natural combination!
I recently bought a basil plant from Trader Joe’s, which is one of the best decisions I made this summer, since I’ve used it several times since purchasing it, one of them being in this caprese risotto! Nothing beats the flavor and aroma of fresh basil in summer dishes. Paired with roma tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, this risotto is creamy and savory, and altogether delicious!
I used the easy method of cooking the risotto, just like in my fall risotto recipe, which involves much less slaving over the stove than the traditional way of making it. This way, you only have to stir constantly for the first cup of broth added, then you dump the rest in and allow the simmering action to do the stirring for you. It turns out just as creamy as the traditionally made type! Anyway, here’s the recipe!
4 cups (1 quart) vegetable broth
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 roma tomatoes, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8 leaves (about 1/4 cup) fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Bring the vegetable broth to a simmer in a saucepan, then turn the heat to low or off and cover the saucepan to keep warm.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add the rice and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and stir constantly until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Add 1 cup of the warm broth and stir constantly until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Add the rest of the broth and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally, but the simmering action should do some of the work for you.
Once almost all the broth is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes, stir in the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in the mozzarella and basil leaves.
In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil over medium head, then cook until reduced to a slightly syrupy consistency. Drizzle over the risotto. Serve warm. Enjoy!