Cherry Tomato Risotto
Cherry Tomato Confit:
• 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes (10 ounces)
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
• 4 sprigs fresh thyme
• 4 cups chicken stock or broth
• 2 tablespoons oil reserved from Cherry Tomato Confit
• 3 tablespoons butter, divided
• 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
• 1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
• 1/2 cup white wine
• 1/2 cup whipping cream
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese|
• Kosher salt
For Cherry Tomato Confit, in medium saucepan combine tomatoes, oil, shallots, garlic, and thyme. Cook over medium-low heat 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (It is very important to not let tomatoes "fry" but simply "poach" in warm oil.) Remove from heat when tomatoes begin to soften. Strain olive oil; reserve oil for risotto. Remove thyme; discard. Set aside tomato-shallot mixture.
For Risotto, in medium saucepan, bring stock to boil; reduce heat. Simmer to keep hot while preparing risotto. In large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. When butter has melted add shallots. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until shallot is tender.
Add rice. Cook and stir with wooden spoon so that grains are coated with oil and melted butter. Cook and stir 5 minutes more. Add wine and cook while stirring, until liquid is fully absorbed
Add ladle of hot chicken stock to rice (about 1/2 cup at a time). Stir until liquid is fully absorbed. When rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat process. (Note: It is important to stir constantly, especially while hot stock gets absorbed, to prevent scorching.) Add next ladle as soon as rice is almost dry.
Continue adding hot stock, 1 ladle at a time, stirring constantly. As it cooks, rice will take on creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches.
Continue adding stock, 1 ladle at a time, 20 to 25 minutes or until grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. If you run out of stock and risotto is still not done, finish cooking using hot water, adding water as you did the stock, 1 ladle at a time, stirring while it's absorbed.*
Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with kosher salt. Fold in half of Cherry Tomato Confit. Serve as directed in Pan-Seared Salmon recipe. Makes 8 servings.
*Tip: Risotto can be cooked ahead to save on last minute prep. For planning purposes, schedule 20 minutes for prep and 30 minutes cooking time. Prepare as directed adding all the stock. Remove from heat; cover up to 1 hour. Right before serving, return pan to medium heat. Stir in 1/2 cup hot water, stirring constantly to gently reheat risotto. If risotto is too thick, add additional hot water 2 tablespoons at a time. Stir in remaining butter, cheese, cream, and Cherry Tomato Confit as directed in recipe.