Risotto with Cherry Tomatoes Burrata and Basil
Photo curtesy of Icons of European Taste.
Serves 6 as a main course.
One 15-ounce can cherry tomatoes
2 medium fresh ripe red tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 ½ cups arborio, vialone nano or carnaroli rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
3 balls burrata cheese, 4-ounces each, room temperature
20 basil leaves, cut into thin strips
Place the cherry tomatoes in a strainer and drain. Reserve the liquid and the cherry tomatoes separately.
Using a coarse grater, grate the ripe fresh tomatoes into a saucepan. Discard the skins. Add the juice from the canned cherry tomatoes, chicken stock and 3 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, place the broth on the back burner just below the boiling point.
Warm the olive oil in a large heavy casserole over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, 7 minutes. Add the rice and stir constantly to toast the rice by coating the rice with oil and heat the rice thoroughly, 3 minutes.
Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add about one cup of tomato broth and stir the rice constantly to wipe it away from the bottom and sides of the pot. When more than half of the broth has been absorbed but the rice is still loose, add another ladle of broth and continue to cook the risotto. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to add broth a ladle at a time, stirring constantly, until the rice is chalky in the center, 18 to 22 minutes. If you run out of stock, use hot water. Continue to add broth until the center of the rice is tender and no longer chalky, about 3 to 5 additional minutes. Add the drained cherry tomatoes, another ladle of broth, balsamic, butter, Parmigiano Reggiano and stir together. Remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
To serve, remove the cover, stir and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the risotto into individual bowls and place ½ of a ball of mozzarella onto the top if each bowl. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.