Italian Caprese-Style Risotto
This version of Risotto is packed with warm mozzarella and toamto goodness, making it a perfect dinner on a cold winter's day or a classy appetizer for a dinner party. to increase the sophistication factor, try a beet and red wine or mushroom and truffle version. Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side
- 3 cup tomato juice
- 2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 shallots
- 1/4 cup robust EVOO
- 1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup Sicilian Lemon white balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- 1/2 cup cherry-sixed fresh mozzarella balls, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup torn basil leaves, plus a few whole leaves for garnish
- sea salt
- **Substitute Sicilian Lemon white balsamic vinegar for the Neopolitan Herb dark balsamic vinegar and use Garlic or Basil in fused olive oil instead of the extra virgin.
- Arbequina, Frantoio, Picual (for a creamier option)
- In a large saucepan, bring the tomato juice and stock to a simmer over medium heat, cover, and continue to simmer without reaching a boil.
- In a large frying pan over medium heat, saute the shallots in the olive oil until soft but not golden, about 3 minute. Add the rice and mix to coat it evenly with olive oil, ensuring the rice is shiny and translucent.
- Add the balsamic to deglaze the pan and scrape up any bits of shallot that may have stuck, stirring constantly. Keep the heat on medium.
- Keep stirring until the balsamic has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between each addition to ensure that the rice is absorbing the stock slowly and consistently. Only add the next addition of stock when the pan is almost dry.
- Once three-quarters of the stock has been added and the rice is starting to look plump, check the texture of the rice. If it's creamy and smooth, it's time to add the tomatoes. If it still has a bit of crunch to it, add another splash of stock, stir until it has been fully absorbed, then add the tomatoes and test again. Stir in the mozzarella and basil.
- Place the risotto in a serving bowl or on individual plates, sprinkle with a touch of sea salt, drizzle generously with more olive oil, and top with a few pieces of mozzarella and a couple of basil leaves. Serve immediately.