Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Risotto with Grape Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella

Risotto is a dish I almost always like more in theory than in practice, and a dish my husband isn't even all that fond of in theory. So it is a testament to our marriage, I guess, that he never complains when I put a new risotto on the week's menu in hopes that this will be the one.

And finally, last night, my dogged risotto quest paid off, with a risotto we both liked, from the 20th anniversary issue of Cooking Light. Leeks, instead of onions, made a light base, and the addition of half and half instead of butter made it extra creamy. The fresh mozzarella, though, was the kicker, making this more akin to my beloved Sally Schneider/Marcella Hazan's mozzarella rice, but with fresh tomatoes and balsamic syrup to kick it up from that dishes soothing bland comfort food taste. I am often ambivalent about tomatoes, especially raw tomatoes, but this was a perfect place for them- the heat from the risotto just wilted them.

We lacked basil, but didn't miss it- although hopefully by the time we repeat this dish I'll have a kitchen garden going.