Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day: Roasted Heirloom Tomato on Goat Cheese Risotto


Valentine's Day is always a Big Deal in our house. Sure we show our love all through the year, and you shouldn't need a reason to give a present and all that, but we sort of see the day as just another excuse to be kind and show our consideration and gratitude to each other. With presents. And food. Veggie Dad is grand gesture man, and I am food provider. I suck at buying presents!

We always go out for dinner, because I am obsessed with high-quality, expertly-made food and I'll take any chance I can to eat it. However. This does not stop me baking treats or coming up with a gourmet meal for the occasion that usually gets eaten the day before or after.

The beauty of this dish is that it's elegant and simple. It looks pretty on a well-laid table, tastes good, doesn't require a thousand hard-to-get ingredients, and is pretty much a one-pot dish. Leaving more time for loving!

It doesn't hurt to have a loaf of really good bread on the side, or a light salad.

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 heirloom tomatoes on the vine
1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup arborio rice
6 cups liquid - stock, water, or a mixture of both simmering on the stove.
120 grams goat cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Roast tomatoes in a medium oven until cooked through and collapsing. They will be deliciously flavoursome and sweet, a perfect contrast to the salty goat cheese.

2. Heat the oil and butter in a casserole or pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook just until soft.

3. Add the rice and cook for one minute.

4. Add a ladleful of stock and stir until absorbed. You could (should) use a glass of white wine here, but I didn't have any. Pregnant sad face.

5. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock as each one is absorbed, stirring all the while, until rice is smooth and velvety. You may need to add more water or stock (I always do, I like my risotto just about mush) to get the desired consistency. Usually takes around 20 minutes. If you're really not a fan of stirring, or don't have the time, add your ladleful and stir vigorously to help the rice grains release their starch, then let simmer. As long as you stir pretty hard every now and then, you should be fine.

6.  When done to your liking, add goat cheese and parmesan, a knob of butter and some salt and pepper. Stir until cheeses dissolve.

7. Serve with a roasted tomato on top and a kiss.

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