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!
shaved Parmesan cheese(ContainsMilk)
baby spinach leaves
traditional pesto(ContainsNuts, 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 brown onion and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the arborio rice, stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the rice is coated in oil and slightly translucent.
Pour in the water and crumble in the vegetable stock (1 cube for 2 people / 2 cubes for 4 people). Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat. Transfer the risotto to a medium baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 24-28 minutes, or until the liquid has absorbed and the rice is ‘al dente’. Halfway through cooking, stir through a splash of water.
While the risotto is baking, slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Pick the thyme leaves. On an oven tray lined with baking paper, combine the cherry tomatoes and thyme. Add the balsamic vinegar, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until blistered.
While the tomatoes are roasting, roughly chop the walnuts. Wipe out the frying pan and return to a medium-high heat. Add the walnuts and toast for 3-4 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a small bowl.
Pick and thinly slice the basil leaves.
Remove the risotto from the oven and stir through the baby spinach leaves, shaved Parmesan cheese, traditional pesto and 3/4 of the basil. Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the roasted cherry tomatoes. Slice any remaining lemon into wedges. TIP: Seasoning is key in this dish, so taste, season with salt and pepper and taste again.
Divide the pesto and cherry tomato baked risotto between bowls. Top with the toasted walnuts and remaining basil leaves. Serve any remaining lemon wedges on the side.