Baked Cherry Tomato Risotto w/ Hazelnut & Thyme Gremolata

by Trudy ~ Veggie num num on November 21, 2012

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Baked Cherry Tomato Risotto w/ Hazelnut & Thyme Gremolata

We’ve spent the last month or so moving house plus travelling again and now finally I feel like we may be settled. A new house, new beachside neighborhood and a new kitchen!! Which means there is now more time to cook and more time to share recipes, hooray!!

Christmas is fast approaching and I aim over the next month to post some veggie recipes perfect for the festive season. This easy baked risotto is just the thing to share with guests. It is a filling and tasty meal on it’s own or serves up well as a side or as part of a large party banquet.

Sweet roasted cherry tomatoes not only look festive but they taste amazing. The hazelnuts and thyme give this dish a lovely aroma and compliment the rich tomato flavour of the vegetarian risotto beautifully.

I hope you’ll all enjoy the recipe and thank you for hanging around through the many months of down time this year on Veggie num num!! It’s been a big one for us and now our little girl is nearly one!! How quickly time travels when you’re having so much fun :)

Baked Cherry Tomato Risotto w/ Hazelnut & Thyme Gremolata

Preparation time: 45mins
Serves 6 (as a main)

Baked Cherry Tomato Risotto

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 lt (1 qt) vegetable stock
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 500g (1lb) cherry tomatoes (try to find ones still on the vine as it makes for pretty presentation)
  • 2¼ cups arborio rice
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 1½ cups good quality passata

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/356°F

Dry roast the pine nuts in a heavy based pan over a low heat, tossing for a few minutes until lightly toasted, remove from pan and set aside.

Heat the vegetable stock in a saucepan until boiling, then turn off and set aside keeping the stock warm.

Heat 2 tablespoon of the oil in an ovenproof dish (if you do not have a dish you can use on the stove top and transfer to the oven, simple do the first step in a large frying pan or saucepan and then transfer to a baking dish before placing in the oven to cook).

Fry the onion over a medium heat for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic, pine nuts and half the cherry tomatoes (removed from the vine). Continue to cook for a minute or two over a medium/low heat until the tomato skins begin to blister.

Increase the heat and add the rice, stirring to coat in the oil and tomatoes. Add the wine once the dish or pan is hot and shake allowing the wine to evaporate.

Add the passata and stock and stir to combine. Place a well fitting lid on the dish or cover tightly with aluminum foil before placing in the oven to bake from 25-35 minutes (until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is al dente).

Leave the remaining tomatoes on the vine and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt flakes and fresh cracked pepper. Place in the oven to bake with the risotto, keep a close eye on them and remove once they are beginning to soften (about 20-25 mins).

Hazelnut & Thyme Gremolata

  • ½ cup hazelnuts dry roasted & skins rubbed off
  • handful of fresh thyme
  • few sprigs of fresh parsley
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1-2 tsp good quality full flavoured olive oil

Combine all the ingredients together in a kitchen wiz or mortar and pestle until crumbly.

Serve the baked risotto topped with the whole roasted cherry tomatoes and generously sprinkled with the gremolata. Try accompanying this risotto recipe with crunchy bread and a light salad of tossed leafy greens, enjoy!!

Baked Cherry Tomato Risotto w/ Hazelnut & Thyme Gremolata
Baked Cherry Tomato Risotto w/ Hazelnut & Thyme Gremolata

{ This vegetarian risotto recipe was adapted from Real Living Magazine’s Roasted Tomatoes, Bacon & Basil Risotto found in the June 2012 Issue. }

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth cregan November 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Great recipe! Good to have you back and hope you are enjoying motherhood

Kat Veronika November 22, 2012 at 10:02 am

This looks delicious! I know what I’m making for dinner!

Lena November 23, 2012 at 5:15 am

Hello,
thanks for the recipe!
I was really glad that posted it, since I thought you did stop to post.
I love your blog, keep it up!

Katie November 23, 2012 at 6:27 am

Wow, this looks delicious – I love the idea of the gremolata.

Congratulations on the new house, and looking forward to some more Christmas recipes!

Jennifer November 23, 2012 at 8:28 am

A beachside neighborhood sounds blissful, Trudy!

This risotto looks so yummy. Love the sprinkling of the gremolata on top! :)

Naomi November 24, 2012 at 6:55 am

Yay!!!! Glad to have you back! ^___^

e / dig in hobart November 26, 2012 at 9:06 am

hello, this is my first time leaving a comment! i’ve re-discovered your blog and this could not come at a better time – i’m reducing my meat consumption AND hosting xmas this year for my parents – i’m looking forward to your suggestions/inspirations!
i love risotto but have never made a baked version, the gremolata topping looks extra enticing.

Lisa Nicholson November 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Trudy – this looks beautiful! I was hoping to find some delicious veggie, gluten free recipes for over the festive season, this is perfect.
Lisa xo

Shelly December 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I just made this last night and it is fabulous! I have found in the past that risotto recipes can be very hit and miss. Well this one is a hit. Also I’ve never had gremolata before but I’m going to have it on everything now it is so tasty.

Trudy ~ Veggie num num December 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Hello all and thank you for the wonderful comments and kind words! It’s good to be back blogging, even if it’s still not as often as I’d like :) hope you all enjoy this and other Veggie num num recipes!!

Holly January 15, 2013 at 9:16 am

I made this for dinner about a week ago and it was excellent and easy. Love the simplicity and with the gremolata it was perfect. Thanks!
p.s. this was my first baked risotto – I can’t believe I’ve been stirring all this time! Never again!

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