Risotto with tomato confit, zucchini and leak is a delightful summer risotto that is light and flavor packed. Tomato confit with those fresh zucchini blossoms creates a beautiful refreshing floral note to the comforting creamy risotto.
My family loves risotto and I make it round the year with seasonal produce. One of my favorite early summer risottos is pea and asparagus risotto.
Currently my tomato plant is giving us a lot of cherry tomatoes and I am making the confit on repeat. Last week I added it to our risotto along with zucchini that is also from my garden.
Nothing beat the freshness of fresh produce. Everything together, turned the risotto into a creamy light, with a hint of acidity from the tomatoes.
Ingredients for the Summer Risotto
- Arborio Rice
- Zucchini (I finely chopped some that I cooked along with the rice. And then grilled the zucchini ribbons to add on top as a garnish )
- Zucchini flowers. I added a few zucchini blossoms too, that I did a super quick grill on the pan before layering on top of the summer risotto as garnish.
- Cherry Tomatoes ( I used some left over tomato confit and few fresh cherry tomatoes that I grilled)
- Garlic, parmesan cheese, few fresh basil leaves
I seared the arborio rice using the oil for the tomato confit. If you don't want to prepare the confit, then cook the risotto in oil and garlic. And at the end add the cherry tomatoes for the flavors to blend it.
Here is a link to the video of the Tomato Confit if you want to try. It's really easy!
Cooking the Risotto
Typically I prepare risotto with either vegetable or chicken stock. For this particular one, I use vegetable stock as I wanted the flavor of tomato confit to shine through.
Arborio rice is the typical rice that is used to prepare risotto. It is short grain and quite starchy which give the creamy texture.
Substitute for Arborio Rice
If you cannot find arborio rice than you can substitute with other variety of short grain rice however you have to adjust by adding cream at the end.
Steps to prepare Summer Risotto with Tomato Confit and Zucchini:
Start by cooking the finely chopped leak (you can substitute with white onion) in sone oil and garlic. I use the tomato confit oil to start the cooking.
Then add the arborio rice and toast it for a while.
Add the chopped zucchini, and continue toasting for sometime.
Finally start cooking the risotto using water water or stock at regular intervals until the rice it cooked.
This is the most important part of cooking risotto. You have to keep the stock warm and add a couple ladles at a time. Stir and let the rice absorb the stock. Then add more stock. Continue this until the rice is cooked and it turns creamy.
As the risotto cooks, simultaneously grill the zucchini ribbons (if using) zucchini flowers and few cherry tomatoes. Grilling these will barely take 5 to 7 minutes.
At the end when the rice is almost cooked, add the tomatoes from the confit, parmesan cheese and few basil leaves.
Layer the grilled veggies on top and serve it warm with more freshly grated parmesan cheese and more basil leaves.
The confit adds a richness to the risotto along with a lovely acidity that goes so well with the creamy zucchini and the blossoms. I hope you will give this a try while we can still find these summer produce.
Summer Risotto with Tomato Confit and Zucchini
- Arborio Rice - 1 cup
- Zucchini - 2 small size (1 finely chopped, and 1 peeled with vegetable peelers to make ribbons)
- Leek - 1 (finely chop the white part)
- Zucchini flowers or blossoms that are quickly grilled on the pan before garnishing (optional)
- Cherry Tomatoes - 5 oz (1 cup tomato garlic confit and used 5 oz cherry tomatoes to grill and add on top)
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 4 cloves of garlic (sliced)
- 4 cups chicken/veg stock or water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt to taste (The chicken stock I used had salt so I didn't add any extra.
- Handful of Fresh basil leaves
- In a large pot at the stock or water and bring warm it. Keep it warm as you cook the risotto.
- In a large skillet at medium heat, add the oil from tomato confit (if using) or add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Drop the garlic slices and let it sizzle for a while.
- Then scatter the leek and cook until its soften down a little.
- Add the rice and stir it around to sear it for a while. The scatter the finely chopped zucchini and toss it around.
- Pour couple ladle of the warm stock or water and stir it around. Let it cook in medium heat until the water/stock is almost absorbed. Ladle couple more of the warm stock or water and stir again. Continue cooking this way until the stick is almost over and the rice is cooked through.
- While the rice cooks, slice the tomato is half. Place a grill pan on medium high heat and brush little oil. Grill the zucchini ribbons, the halved tomatoes and also the zucchini flowers (if using). Keep the grilled veggies aside.
- When the rice is almost cooked, add the remaining tomato confit, half of the basil leaves and stir it around.
- At the end add the parmesan cheese and butter.
- Garnish the risotto with the grilled veggies, more parmesan cheese and few more basil leaves. Enjoy it warm!