sun-dried tomato risotto

so, last week i had sun-dried tomatoes sitting in the fridge that needed used up! i starting doing some research about what i could do with them with what i had in the house. i stumbled upon this recipe and decided to give it try! i didn’t have the exact ingredients but i was sure i could make it work and boy it was yummy! the kids loved it as well. seamus helped me towards the end. he helped with the cheese – the boy loves cheese!

so, the recipe calls for sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. you know the little jars they come in for about $6 or more?  yeah, well, i don’t really buy those anymore for 2 reasons.
#1, too much unnecessary oil hence too much fat!
#2, i can get sun-dried tomatoes at the olive bar for way less money and way less oil! i usually pick the ones on the top not sitting in the oil. they work great! i got a good amount of them the last time i shopped and i paid less than $2 for them! i bet i got enough to make the risotto 2 times.

now, the broth… i really don’t like buying/using broth or bullion but do at times. when a recipe calls for it but i think i can do without, i usually do.  in the case of this risotto i came up with my own broth/seasoning using what i had. i had some white wine so i used that. i wanted the tomatoes to be nice and tender and in small pieces so i put them in a skillet with maybe less than a cup of water and let them simmer  (covered so water wouldn’t evaporate out) until they were nice and soft and made a yummy broth all on their own! when they were soft i took them out of that yummy broth and chopped them up. i did add a few things to the water and tomatoes while the simmered – garlic, salt, pepper and dried basil (from our garden this summer). it smelled delish!

i didn’t have arborio rice but the brown rice i did use was just fine. it did take longer too cook though and i kept the cover on while simmering probably half the time.

i didn’t have mozzarella cheese but had just about a 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese. i did some reviewers thought there was too much cheese and seeing more cheese equals more fat i was sure the 1/3 cup of cheese would be just fine. a good strong parmesan cheese can go a long way!

i kept tasting the rice/broth as it cooked to be sure it was flavorful. it turned out just heavenly and my children loved it! layla wouldn’t have minded about the tomatoes in it but if i  told seamus he would have turned his nose up right away! he was eager to taste it after he had helped grate and put the cheese in it! i was worried he would be turned off by the pieces of tomatoes in it so we ate by candlelight! man, i love when i am so smart! the key is getting him to eat things that i know he will like if he will just try. now when i make it again i can tell him he already had it and remind him that he helped me with the cheese, sat on the counter, ate by candlelight…’oh yeah!’ he’ll say. i love him!

i would have loved to sprinkle some fresh basil on top my serving as the recipe called for but seeing i used the dried basil in the recipe i was happy with that! we will be having this risotto again! i used to think risotto was full of fat but i learned i can make it not that way and still very yummy! (this was the first time i made risotto. who knew i could whip up some  delicious risotto with very few ingredients?)

if you’ve never made risotto, don’t be afraid to try! (rosie, you should try this! we should also look for a better mushroom risotto!)

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