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Cherry Tomato and Cheddar Cheese Risotto

When our box arrived on Tuesday, I knew I wanted to use those beautiful cherry tomatoes in something yummy. Risotto was the answer. What could go better with cherry tomatoes than a sharp cheddar cheese. Thus was born Cherry Tomato and Cheddar Cheese Risotto. Though it takes a little time, it is pretty simple to make and is a perfect meatless meal alongside a crisp salad. The key to good risotto is watching it carefully and adding the hot liquid in small batches and letting it soak up before adding more.

½ cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic
5 T butter
12 ounces Arborio Rice
Pinch of tarragon
6 cups of heated chicken stock
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese shredded
¼ cup half-n-half

Drizzle olive oil into a pan that has already been heated to medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and one tablespoon of butter and sauté until the onions are soft. You will have to pretend that my garlic is here…I added it with the rice by mistake. But, that worked too. 🙂

Next, add the Arborio Rice and sauté until some of the pieces become toasted.

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock to a simmer. You will use this hot liquid to cook your Risotto. Once the rice begins toasting, add two ladles of chicken stock to the rice and stir. You can also add your tarragon here. Allow the rice to soak up the liquid. Also, add 1 tablespoon of butter.

Once the rice has soaked up the liquid, add two additional ladles of chicken stock and stir. Add an additional tablespoon of butter.

The rice will begin forming a thick sauce from the added liquid and the starch that is releasing from the rice as it cooks. Repeat this process until the rice is soft and the liquid is gone or mostly gone. It will take 20-30 minutes in total.

When finished the rice should be tender and it should look like this:

Do you see at the top of the pan where I pulled the spatula through the risotto? It made a line and was thick enough for the line to stay apart. That is a good sign it is done.

Now, it is time to add the final touches. Add in your half-n-half, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and parsley and taste. If it needs salt, this would be the time to add it. Sharp cheddar can be salty, so you may not need much. This picture shows the half-n-half and cheddar cheese already stirred in.

Fresh black pepper is also a great addition.


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