Herby Risotto with Creamed Tomatoes

For a risotto that's as fragrant as a Mediterranean herb garden and evocative of a bountiful summer, try Simon Rimmer's classy recipe
By Simon Rimmer
Herby Risotto with Creamed Tomatoes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the creamed tomatoes

  • 450 ml double cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • salt and black pepper
  • 12 sage leaves

For the fennel

  • 2 bulb fennel, quartered
  • 1 lemon
  • 75 ml olive oil

For the risotto

  • 650 ml vegetable stock
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 450 g arborio risotto rice
  • splash white wine
  • 1 tbsp sage
  • 1 tbsp lemon thyme
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. To prepare the creamed tomatoes, simmer the cream and chopped garlic together in a small saucepan until the volume of liquid has reduced by one-third. Place the tomatoes cut-side up in an ovenproof dish and season with salt, pepper and sage. Pour over the reduced cream and bake in the hot oven for 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, lay the quartered fennel on an ovenproof dish. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the fennel and add the lemon shells to the dish. Drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the fennel is tender. Remove from the oven, allow to cool a little and slice into thin strips. Set aside.

3. To begin the risotto, heat the vegetable stock in a small saucepan. In a wide saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and fry the garlic and shallots until soft. Add the rice, herbs, fenugreek seeds and wine and stir well. Cook for two minutes until the rice is well coated with olive oil and glistening.

4. Add a large ladle of the hot vegetable stock and stir well. When all this liquid has been absorbed, add more hot stock. Continue adding ladles of stock and stirring until the rice is cooked.

5. Season the risotto to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the sliced fennel and the extra virgin olive oil. Serve a generous portion of risotto topped with 3 slices of tomato and some of the reduced cream.

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