Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Risotto with Olives, Capers, and Oven Roasted Tomatoes

When I made my oven dried tomatoes, I all along had an idea to pair them with something salty. I have made puttanesca a few times with chicken or even tuna, but this was my first "deconstructed" attempt using some of the similar flavors. Ok, that sounds like I planned this huge meal weeks ahead. Actually, I looked into what I had in my fridge and used what was available.

I like to make things into risotto, it's such a good dish and once you make it a few times it's like riding a bike. I was petrified of it when I first made it, but after making it I found it to be fantastically simple and delicious. The other thing that really kicks it off in my household is how downright good it is for you. When something tastes like you made it with cream but offers very little in terms of fat, it goes over well. I paired it with some easy grilled chicken for a great meal.

Mediterranean Risotto

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups Aborio rice
½ cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
1 onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
8 ounces kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup parsley
½ teaspoon red pepper flake
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Place the stock in a medium pot over medium heat to have it hot to add to the risotto. Heat butter over medium heat in a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add rice and coat with the butter, cooking the rice until lightly browned and the pot smells slightly nutty, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and stir until evaporated.

Add two ladles of hot stock into rice, stirring constantly. Let cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. If the mixture is bubbling like crazy, turn the heat down a bit. When the liquid has been absorbed repeat with 1-2 ladles more of stock. Repeat this process until about 7 cups of the liquid has been used. Taste the risotto for doneness; it should be slightly al dente. If it's too crunchy, add another ladle of stock and repeat. When the risotto is still slightly crunchy and loose (remember, it will continue to thicken and cook after this), turn off the heat. Add the olives, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, and red pepper flake and stir to combine. Add the cheese and stir until just melted. Taste the risotto and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve, topped with oven roasted tomatoes. Enjoy.


Cookin' Canuck September 8, 2009 at 10:32 PM  

Risotto is one of my favorite go-to dishes and you have managed to put all of my favorite flavors (I love salty) into one dish. Yum!

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