My cooking clock is all messed up. About this time I should be making many a chili, stews and other hearty dishes to warm you up on a winter's night. Now I live in a warm weather locale and not only is it the temperature outside affecting what I eat, but what I buy. Who thought January to May would be the local growing season? Strawberries were $5 for 10 lbs at the store yesterday. It is February 1 people.
A couple nights ago I made a recipe my boyfriend's mom made for the 4th of July dinner which everyone loved. It is truly vegetarian and one of the lighter risottos I have cooked. It was delicious and although I probably should have halved the recipe for two people, it has been a lunch staple for the remainder of the week. (Please excuse the budget picture of the leftovers.)
Tomato Risotto (courtesy Mrs. M.)
1 bunch of fresh asparagus, cut into small diagonal pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup of chopped yellow onion
1 pound ripe tomatoes
2 cups of arborio rice
1 small bunch of fresh basil (cut into strips)
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 cup of cherry tomatoes halved
container of fresh grated Parmesan
4-6 cups of water
Blanche the asparagus and cut into one inch pieces (make sure it is cool) and put into a bowl with the basil, and cherry tomatoes, lemon juice and cheese, mixed up with 1/2 cup olive oil.
Cut up the tomatoes and puree in a blender.
Over medium low heat, saute onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the rice to the onions and turn up the heat to medium high. Stir and toast for about 2 minutes until the grains are hot. Pour 2 cups of water into pot and stir constantly. Turn down the heat to a simmer and once the liquid is absorbed, add another 2 cups of water and continue to stir constantly. After about 15 minutes of cooking and stirring, or about 5 minutes shy of being al dente stir in the tomato puree. Stir for another 4 minutes or until liquid is almost totally reduced. Then stir in the bowl with the basil, cherry tomatoes, asparagus and cheese and olive oil. Salt and pepper to your liking.