I’m here today to equip you with another recipe for all the fresh summer tomatoes coming at you right now!
We walked out to our garden last night, and picked several. There are a bunch more almost ready, and a ton of green ones that will be bombarding us soon. Time to pull out alllllll the tomato recipes to make good use of them!
An Easy Side Dish
We have done a good job of keeping our pantry and freezer pretty well- stocked during this pandemic, so we can limit our trips to the grocery store. Now, with all the garden goodies that we are harvesting, we are generally able to pull a good dinner together without leaving the house!
We bought a Costco-sized package of salmon a few weeks ago, and put half in the freezer for another time, so we pulled it out in the morning, and by the time my hubby got home from work, it was ready to grill on a cedar plank. We just needed a side to go with it.
Tomatoes + Pantry Staples
This Fresh Tomato & Basil Risotto was the answer. We had fresh tomatoes from the garden, basil growing wild in my herb box, a little parmesan cheese in the fridge, and everything else in the pantry. Oh, and a little white wine. Keeping the wine fridge well-stocked is just as important as the freezer and pantry, right? 😂
I made just a half portion of this recipe for two people, but the attached recipe below is for the full amount. Half of this recipe was the perfect amount for two people eating it as a side dish.
For the full recipe, you’ll need two boxes of chicken stock or broth (or vegetable stock if you’re keeping it vegetarian). To get the creaminess that you want in a risotto, you need a lot of liquid.
In a large, deep skillet, sauté the onion in olive oil. Then add your Arborio rice, and minced garlic.
In a stock pot on another burner of your stove, heat your broth to a gentle simmer. Please disregard the onions floating in my broth. I accidentally dumped my diced onions into my stock instead of the skillet and had to fish most of them out with a slotted spoon. 😫. It’s fine. I’m fine. Everything’s fine.
Once your rice starts to crackle just a bit, you’re ready to add in about a pound of fresh tomatoes, diced. Reserve the other 1/2 pound for the end.
Add the sugar and thyme, and cook and stir until the tomatoes break down a bit, and coat the rice.
Add the wine, stirring until it has been absorbed by the rice.
Then, add a ladle or two of the simmering stock to the rice.
The stock should just cover the rice, and should be bubbling gently. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid is just about absorbed.
Continue this process, adding more stock and stirring when the rice is almost dry. Repeat this several times over, until the rice is tender all the way through.
Finally, add one last ladleful of stock to the rice, stir in the last 1/2 pound of diced tomatoes, the slivered basil, and the Parmesan.
The mixture should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t), and then serve right away.
My husband was in charge of grilling the salmon, and I made the rice. Our timing was not quite spot-on, so my risotto got done a bit too soon, and as a result, the creamy liquid absorbed a little too much at the end. You’ll do better.
I tell you what though, friends. This was so good. We will definitely be having it again. It’s perfect for this time of year with all the garden-fresh tomatoes and basil in season right now. That tomato/basil combo just cannot be beat, and when you mix it with the creamy rice and Parmesan…it’s a-mazing.
I cut the recipe in half to make this as a side dish for the two of us, but I think I will make it again, this time the full amount, and add in some sliced smoked sausage or kielbasa. It would make a great main course, with a fresh salad on the side. Shredded chicken would be so good in here, too!
Fresh Tomato & Basil Risotto
- 7 cups stock vegetable or chicken
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ lbs fresh tomatoes diced
- ½ tsp dired thyme You can sub fresh if you have it in your herb garden! Just use a full teaspoon instead.
- 1½ cups Arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc work well. You can sub extra stock if you don't want to use wine.
- ¼ cup fresh basil slivered
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- Bring your stock or broth to a simmer in a sauce pan over low heat.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, deep skillet Add the onion and sauté until tender. Add the rice and garlic and cook, stirring, until the grains of rice begin to crackle. Stir in 1 pound (reserve a 1/2 pound for the end) of the diced tomatoes, sugar, thyme, and salt to taste and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and coat the rice in their juice, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Pour in the white wine and stir until it is absorbed by the rice. Begin adding the simmering stock, a ladle at a time. The stock should just cover the rice, and should be bubbling gently. Simmer, stirring frequently, until it is just about absorbed, and then add another ladleful or two of the stock. Continue with this process, adding more stock and stirring when the rice is almost dry, stirring often. When the rice is tender all the way through, but not mushy it's done.
- Add another ladleful of stock to the fully cooked rice. Stir in the last 1/2 pound of the fresh diced tomatoes, the basil and the Parmesan cheese. Remove from the heat. The mixture should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t). Serve right away.
If your garden tomatoes are ripening like crazy right now, here are two more of my favorite dishes to use them in. Enjoy!