We liked the way sweet grape tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and luscious risotto combine in this recipe from Mary Alayne Long first published in December 2003.
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
How to Make It
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.
Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm.
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.
WOW! This was delicious. My changes - I left out the additional olive oil at the end (so only used 1T. for the recipe). I used dry sherry instead of dry white wine, increased the salt and pepper, and used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I got 5 servings, about 1 1/4 cup each and it was a satisfying one dish meal. Next time I would add another 1/2 cup of tomatoes. It is a very cheesy-style of risotto. Would definitely make it again!
I love tomato and basil, but this did not live up to its potential. Far from my favorite risotto recipe. The warm sweet tomatoes with a touch of balsamic were the highlight. The risotto itself did not have much depth of flavor and the consistency was too cheesey. If I were to make it again I would double the tomatoes and cut down on the mozzarella.
First time making risotto and felt that the directions were clear and precise. Texture and flavor of risotto was excellent.
Like another reviewer, wanted to make this more of a main dish entree, so added chicken (needed to save time so used rotiserre) as well as a few sliced sun-dried tomatoes.
Will definitely make again
This recipe was okay. I have a better risotto by Emeril that I make all the time. I thought I would give this a try. I'm not going to make it again. My one-year old loved it though. It didn't have anything great about it.