September 11, 2013 § 65 Comments
We are experiencing an interesting tomato season here in Seattle. I planted five varietals late June (once our temperatures stayed above 50°F overnight) and we are just now reaping the rewards of our harvest. Four months! Is that normal? All the saplings I put into the ground were approximately 12″ in height. The Sun Gold continued to grow until it reached at least 8 feet tall! I was staking, tying and propping every other day. The Sweet 100’s did not get quite as tall, however it’s circumference is at least 4 feet. I also planted 3 heirloom varietals and they seem to be a bit more “normal” and are presently crowded with green tomatoes (and they are not a green varietal). We are suppose to have temperatures in the low 90’s this week so hopefully we’ll get some color tomatoes.
I brought in a fair amount of Sun Gold’s and a few Sweet 100’s today and decided to make a risotto for dinner. This was sensational. The tomatoes along with the red wine vinegar gave the dish a subtle tang and the Grana Padano cheese was a perfect match for bringing out the flavor and adding a bit of creaminess to it’s texture. A very lovely Tuesday night dinner.
I n g r e d i e n t s
For the sauce:
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 6 cups Sun Gold or Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 basil sprigs (I used Greek basil) + a little extra for garnish
- 1 thyme sprigs
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
For the risotto:
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups risotto
- 6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock, on a steady simmer
- 1/4 cup Grana Padano cheese or Parmesan, freshly grated
M e t h o d
The sauce. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, stirring often, until soft and translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, basil and thyme sprigs and cook stirring often, until fragrant. Add tomatoes and vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes release their juices and a sauce forms, approximately 15 minutes. Discard the basil and thyme sprigs. Add a sprinkling of salt to taste (and do taste it) set aside.
The risotto. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for two minutes until soft. Add the risotto and stir for one minute making sure all of the grains are well coated. Begin to add the hot stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until each addition of stock is almost absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Reserve 1/4 cup of stock to add at the end. After approximately 25-30 minutes, when the risotto is tender but not soft, add the reserved stock, tomato sauce and Grana Padano. Serve right away with an additional sprinkling of Grana Padano and basil.