Risotto with artichokes and tomatoes
Servings: 3-4 servings
The first real thing I cooked in culinary school was risotto. I’ll never forget the end product- rich, creamy and decadent. I with the rest of my classmates couldn’t wait to dig into the heaping bowl of risotto. Just as we took that perfect first bite we were hooked on cooking and then our teacher Chef Hawkins screamed, “Time to clean up!” Now whenever I eat risotto I’m taken back to that moment in time where culinary school clicked.
Peel the onion and cut the onion into a small dice.
Wash and dry the tomatoes. Cut them in half and set on the cookie sheet in a pile.
Remove the artichokes from the can and drain them well. Dry them off with a paper towel if you desire. Next place them leaves side down and stem side up. Cut the artichoke into ¼ pieces.
Clean the parsley by soaking it in a bowl of cold water and then drying them in a paper towel (this should be done in advance to allow time for drying. When the parsley is dry finely chop enough of the parsley to make 1-tablespoon worth and save the other half for garnish.
Heat a sauté pan with olive oil. When it is hot add the artichokes and season with salt and pepper. Then add the tomatoes and parsley then season with a little more salt. Set aside until you’re ready to add it to the risotto.
In a pot heat the chicken stock to a simmer and let it sit until you are ready to use it.
Heat the large pot to a medium high heat and add the oil when the pan is hot add the onions.
Cook the onions until they are glossy and aromatic (It is very important that they are cooked well – if not you will bite into crunchy onion).
Now, add the Arborio rice to the pot with onions.
Salt a little bit and toast the rice slightly.
Turn the fire off and add the wine then turn the fire back on to a low heat and reduce the wine into the rice.
When all of the wine has evaporated begin to slowly add (1/4 cup at a time) of your chicken stock into the rice.
Make sure the heat is on medium low.
Stir with a flat edged spoon to scrape all of the fond (delicious food remnants at the bottom of the pan) off the bottom.
Repeat this cooking process until all of the chicken stock has cooked into the rice.
The rice will be soft but not mushy. A good way to tell if the rice is cooked correctly is by squishing a piece of rice in between your fingers easily resulting in three beads on your fingers.
When the rice is cooked add the Parmesan cheese, butter and last but not least the artichoke and tomato mixture.
Risotto can be served as a rich side dish but many times the risotto is made for the meal or even a pre-meal appetizer like in Italy. Either way once it is plated top it by sprinkling the rest of the chopped parsley on to the risotto.
If the chicken stock isn’t heated you will have a hard time cooking the rice.
1 can artichoke hearts quartered
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped parsley
½ cup yellow onion diced
½ cup white wine (and a glass for you while you cook!)
4-5 cups chicken stock
½ stick butter
¼- ½ cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste