Saturday, October 2, 2010

Summer Risotto

This is a glorious farewell-to-summer treat.

At the farmers' market, the tomatoes were glorious but nobody wanted any because "summer was over" - well, it's not - the CC is still blasting fans and the occasional air-conditioning. That's the problem with going by dates rather than weather. Things are not always quite so.

Anyway, a crazy number of tomatoes were bought, and logic necessitated that a last ta-ta to summer was in order.

This is riot of colors (as you can see below.) Oddly enough, it also happens to follow the traditional rules of the Japanese washoku.


6 pounds ripe summer tomatoes (yep! you heard that right)

1 small yellow squash
1 small zucchini

1 ear corn (if available.)
1 cup peas (freshly shelled)

1/4 cup green beans (cut into medium length)
1/4 cup purple beans (cut into medium length)
1/4 cup yellow beans (cut into medium length)
1/4 cup Italian flat beans (cut to resemble the above)

1 large red onion (diced very fine)
4 cloves garlic (diced very fine)
2 cups arborio rice (or carnaroli.)
purple basil (lots!!!, shredded by hand or snipped with scissors)

3 cups excellent white wine (1 cup for recipe, 2 cups to drink)

olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano


Bring a pot of water to boil. Dunk the tomatoes in batches for about 8 minutes each (depending on ripeness.) Pass the lot through a food mill to get a rich broth of tomatoes. You should have about 8-12 cups of tomato broth. (This is work. Deal!)

Bring the tomato broth to a slow boil. A lot of foam will rise to the surface. Skim, baby, skim.

Reduce the broth for about 45-60 minutes until it is "sticky" (Logic: this is the Maillard reaction with some caramelization taking place.) This is the "hard" part but since, it quite literally requires no work, it cannot really be called that.

Reconstitute with water to bring it back up to the original 8 cups.

Now, we prepare a standard risotto.

On a seperate burner, keep the above tomato broth at a low simmer. It doesn't have to literally simmer just that it needs to be on the hot side so as to not drop the temperature of the risotto when you dunk a ladleful in.

Fry the onions and the garlic at a medium-low heat for about 6 minutes. Add the beans, and fry for an additional 4 minutes. Add the zucchini and yellow squash and fry for an additional 4 minutes. Add the rice and fry till the rice is translucent and the kernel of the rice is visible (this is really obvious if you actually make this recipe as opposed to just reading this post.)

Add salt and pepper to taste. At this point, the CC adds a cup of white wine he's been drinking (read below!)

Add two ladles of the hot tomato broth, and stir. Keep stirring while it cooks. You are releasing the starch in this process. Ladles of broth and stir, ladles of broth and stir. Yes, this is fuckin' boring but deal with it. Have the afore-mentioned white wine.

Towards the end, add the corn and the peas (Logic: they cook really quickly, and you don't want them to turn into mush.)

Turn off the heat.

Add the grated parmigiano-reggiano (the mantecura), and the purple basil. Serve immediately with lots of black pepper.

1 comment:

Varsha said...

3 cups excellent white wine (1 cup for recipe, 2 cups to drink)


are you sure you only need 3? what about all the cook's helpers? don't they get wine to drink as well?