Summer tomatoes in New Jersey are like the ultimate cream of the crop. Supermarket tomatoes will never cut it for me after being spoiled with the juiciest and sweetest heirlooms and beefsteaks of Jersey farm stands. I incorporate them into as many recipes as possible in the summertime to make best use of this local treat.
Tomato risotto is a new take on one of our go-to dinner staples, risotto. Risotto is a vegan’s dream because it is naturally creamy without the aid of dairy products, just the luscious starch released by the arborio rice. The tomatoes become tender when simmered slowly in the risotto, and a blanket of chopped herbs adds a lightness and freshness on top.
4 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup arborio rice
2 cups diced tomatoes
salt and pepper
fresh chopped parsley and basil
Bring 4 cups vegetable broth to a gentle simmer and keep warm. In a large and deep skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and saute until slightly softened. Add tomatoes and rice, and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add broth to the rice 1/2 cup at a time and stir frequently, waiting until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding more broth. By the time you finish the broth, the rice should be very tender and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in a shallow dish and top with fresh herbs.