When our recipe developers first whipped this one up, we all gathered close. "It's...it's beautiful!" someone exclaimed. And it was. Let's just say when we tasted it, we weren't disappointed. Enjoy!
Always refer to the product label for the most accurate ingredient and allergen information.
walnuts(ContainsTree NutsMay be presentGluten, Peanuts, Sesame, Milk, Soy)
vegetable stock powder
tinned cherry tomatoes
grated Parmesan cheese(ContainsMilk)
baby spinach leaves
basil pesto(ContainsTree Nuts, Milk)
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Finely chop the brown onion. Finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press). In a medium frying pan, heat the butter and a drizzle of olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the arborio rice, stir to combine and cook until the rice is coated in oil and slightly translucent, 1-2 minutes.
Add the water and the vegetable stock to the pan. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Carefully transfer the risotto to a medium baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is ‘al dente’, 24-28 minutes.
TIP: 'Al dente’ means the rice is cooked through but has a tiny bit of firmness left in the middle.
While the risotto is baking, drain the tinned cherry tomatoes. Pick the thyme leaves. Place the cherry tomatoes and thyme on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Add the balsamic vinegar, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then roast until caramelised, 15-20 minutes.
While the cherry tomatoes are roasting, roughly chop the walnuts. Wipe out the frying pan and return to a medium-high heat. Add the walnuts and toast, tossing, until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Pick and thinly slice the basil leaves. Slice the lemon (see ingredients list) into wedges.
Remove the risotto from the oven and stir through the baby spinach leaves, grated Parmesan cheese, basil pesto and 3/4 of the basil leaves. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the roasted cherry tomatoes.
TIP: Add a splash of water if the risotto looks dry. TIP: Seasoning is key in this dish, so taste, season with salt, pepper or a squeeze of lemon juice and taste again.
Divide the baked cherry tomato and basil pesto risotto between bowls. Top with the toasted walnuts and remaining basil leaves. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges.