Cherry Tomato Vegan Baked 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 vegan 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 vegan baked 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 🙂

 

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Recipe

Cherry Tomato Vegan Baked 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!!

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