This is wonderful alone or as a side dish to grilled chicken, steak, or seafood. 3 tbsp  butter

1 onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt

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.