Recipe for Risotto with Fresh Mozzarella, Grape Tomatoes and Basil… You’re going to thank me!

Risotto with Fresh Mozzarella, Grape Tomatoes and Basil

Recipe/Image from Cooking Light Magazine and www.myrecipes.com

Ok, I’m going to be a real friend to you right now… I’m going to pass on a recipe that is so good, I’m telling you that your eyes WILL roll into the back of your head when you taste it. You won’t be able to help it. You are going to thank me. Seriously, this recipe is out of this world, and for all the whining that you may do because you have to stir for 20 minutes or so… just know… IT. IS. WORTH. IT! You will be rewarded with the most scrumptious dinner ever. This is nice paired with a simple salad and maybe a baggette. The ONLY thing that I change is that I use about twice as much balsamic vinegar, mine seems to disappear after it’s reduced. And truly try to give it the time to cook until it’s a little thicker. You will not believe how sweet this is, and how much it adds to the dish! I find that when I boil the balsamic viniagrette  in the beginning (as the recipe calls for) it seems to almost evaporate, so I cook it closer to the time I serve… OK folks, this recipe comes from Cooking Light magazine (see, it’s not even bad for you), I hope you enjoy as much as we do! Check out the http://www.myrecipes.com website when you get a chance, always great recipes from some of your favorite magazines (Cooking Light, Southern Living, Coastal Living, Food & Wine, Health etc.).

Risotto with Fresh Mozzarella, Grape Tomatoes, and Basil

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups chopped leek
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 5 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, finely diced

Preparation

  1. Place vinegar in a small, heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until slightly syrupy and reduced to 1 tablespoon (about 4 minutes). Set aside. (Barbara note: this is the step that I do closer to when the risotto is ready to serve).
  2. Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, and cook 1 minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup broth; cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Stir in half-and-half, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in tomatoes, basil, and cheese. Place about 1 cup risotto into each of 6 shallow serving bowls; drizzle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon balsamic syrup and 1/2 teaspoon oil.

Mary Alayne Long, Vestavia Hills, Alabama, Cooking Light
SEPTEMBER 2007

Bon Appetit! Catch you back here tomorrow!

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