Earlier this year I bought Haven a cookbook that came highly recommended from my dear friend Bekah, called Apples for Jam. It would be a huge understatement to say I love this cookbook! The recipes aren't only delicious and the directions insanely easy to follow, but it's divided up - now get this: by color. What kid wouldn't love that? So last week I let the kids pick four recipes from the color section of their choice (Red) and we jumped right in. We made the Red Fruit Salad on Monday, the Chicken with Tomatoes & Capers and Tomato Risotto on Thursday, and Fried Risotto Balls on Friday.
And please note that I don't normally condone this sort of uber good-sounding parenting behavior. For one, if I don't follow through I end up being a bigger ass than if I'd never started; and second, I like my sanity too much to keep up that sort of pace. So in the future I'll tone it down and keep it to one or two recipes; only sharing my very favorite ones with you here. Enjoy!
- 1/2 red onion, peeled
- 1 small carrot, peeled
- 1/2 leafy celery stalk
- 3 parsley stalks
- 1/2 small tomato
- 5 cups water
- 4 tbl Olive Oil
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
- pinch of dried chile flakes (optional)
- 1 cup risotto rice
- 1 cup canned tomatoes, pureed
- 2 large basil leaves, torn
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 1/2 tbl olive oil, to serve
- grated parmesan cheese, to serve
- freshly ground black pepper, to serve
Note: I did not make my own vegetable stock - I bought two cans of low-sodium broth from the store; I also bought a 16 ounce can of tomato puree so that I wouldn't have to puree it myself; and I grated the mozzarella instead of cubing it. I also omitted the chile flakes. But, if you're feeling motivated and want to do it the long way, I'm sure it will be worth the extra time :)
For the broth, put the onion, carrot, parsley, and tomato in a pan with 5 cups of water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low an simmer for 30 minutes, then turn down the heat as low as it will go and leave the pan over the heat.
Heat the olive oil in a wide heavy-bottomed pan. Saute the onion and garlic over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until lightly golden. Stir in the chile flakes and rice, and cook for another minute. Add half the tomato puree, half the basil and 1 1/2 cups of the hot broth.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring now and then. Add the rest of the tomato puree and the remaining broth, simmer for 10 minutes or until the risotto is cooked (if it needs another few minutes or a little more liquid, just use hot water). Remove the garlic cloves and throw them away. Stir in the Parmesan, mozzarella, and remaining basil. Serve as soon as the mozzarella starts to melt, drizzled with olive oil and with a good grating of black pepper for the adults. Pass around the extra parmesan. (Serves 3-4)