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Tomato risotto is a delicious side dish that can also double as a meatless main course.
Enjoy Tomato Risotto Two Ways
Two ways? Yep since you have a choice other than rice for this tomato risotto.
I know that sounds weird as risotto is a classic rice dish. However, you can get fancy and use whole grain in this one. I thought I’d live it up a bit and be out-of-the-box with using faro.
Faro is like barley–which I guess you could substitute as well. This grain made this recipe even better. It added a slight nutty flavor which elevated this side to another level of delicious. And it’s a great way to get some fiber into your diet deliciously.
Patience Is Important
Risotto requires a bit of patience in order to achieve the great creamy texture.
Hot liquid has to be added in small amounts until it’s almost absorbed before you add a little more hot liquid. The process repeats until all the liquid is gone. Plus it must be stirred constantly. The end result is worth the effort. This might be a dish you make for company or special occasions due to the work involved. It’s not something you’d make if you’re pressed for time and want dinner in a dash.
I have made an oven risotto that needs no tending but that is a rare recipe. Most are a bit labor intensive.
Vegetarian And Vegan
The beauty of this tomato risotto is that it can easily be made vegetarian with one substitution. To make it totally vegan, it’s just an additional substitution.
You can substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock and to make it vegan, use a vegan cheese substitute for the Parmesan/Romano or eliminate it entirely. In my opinion, it’s just as good without the cheese whether you’re vegetarian or not.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced or pressed
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or faro
- 28 oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes cut into 1-inch/2.5 cm pieces
- 4 cups hot chicken stock
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 2 tbs fresh basil chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Heat a 4-quart/4 L dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and when the oil is hot add the onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent; about 2 minutes.
- Add the rice or faro. Cook for 1 minute stirring so the rice/faro is coated with oil. Add half the tomatoes and 1/4 cup/60 ml of stock. Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is almost absorbed.
- Repeat, adding 1/4 cup/60 ml additions of the hot stock til liquid is absorbed, until the stock is all added.
- Add the cheese, basil and remaining tomatoes, stirring to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.