This is wonderful alone or as a side dish to grilled chicken, steak, or seafood. 3 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups Arborio or medium-grain rice
5 cups chicken broth (or vegetable will work)
1/2 cup dry white wine (such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc)
1 pound miniature heirloom tomatoes or a mixture of red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved (or cut into 1-inch chunks if large)
1/4 pound panquehue cheese (or other mild, buttery cheese such as Jack or fontina; or vegan alternative) cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup shaved parmesan (or vegan alternative)
2 tbsp fresh basil
1/3 cup Basic Vinaigrette (see sidebar)
In a 12-14-inch wide, deep saute' pan or 6-8-quart pan, combine the butter, onion, and salt to taste over medium-high heat. Stir often until the onion is soft bu not browned, 6-7 minutes. Add rice and stir often until grains are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of broth and all of the wine to pan. Stir often until the liquid absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 2 more cups of the broth and and simmer, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes more. Add the remaining broth and repeat until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender to bite, 5 to 6 more minutes. (Total cooking time will be 15 to 20 minutes.) Transfer the risotto to a large, rimmed baking sheet, spreading it out over pan. Let stand stirring occasionally, until completely cool, about 1 hour. (If desired, risotto can be refrigerated up to 1 day at this point. Bring to room temperature before continuing. Combine the risotto in a large bowl with the cut tomatoes, panquehue cheese, parmesan, and basil. Add the vinaigrette; pour over risotto mixture ad gently mix to blend. Serve at room temperature.
From Edible Sacramento Summer 2010. Serves 8 as a side dish.