Baked-Mozzarella-and-cherry-tomato-risotto-recipe-blog

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO FEED 2 PEOPLE:

1 Echalion Shallot, chopped

1 Garlic Clove, grated

1 Bunch Basil, chopped

175g Aborio Rice

400ml water

1 Vegetable stock pot

1 Punnet Cherry Plum tomatoes

1/2 Lemon

1 tbsp Honey

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 Cucumber, chopped

1 Ball Mozzarella, sliced

45g Butter

1 Bag Watercress

HOW TO MAKE IT:

After posting a snap of this on my instagram stories a few months ago and having such a lovely response I thought I’d share the full recipe on here. It’s the easiest, quickest dish I’ve ever made and it tastes absolutely amazing. It’s the perfect dish for hosting a dinner party – it looks impressive but doesn’t take too much time, or effort!

First things first, preheat your oven to 200 degrees and pop your kettle on to boil, too. Halve, peel and chop the shallot into 1/2cm pieces. Peel and grate the garlic (or if you’re lazy like me, use a garlic press!) Pick the basil leaves from their stalks, put them to one side and finely chop the stalks.

Heat up some oil in a large ovenproof dish (I use a regular pan and transfer it to an ovenproof dish later on!) over a medium-high heat and add the shallot, cook and stir until softened, around five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the arborio rice and basil stalks. Stir and cook until the rice is slightly translucent, this should take a few minutes.

Meanwhile add your stockpot to 400ml of boiling water – stir it to dissolve and then pop it in your rice pan. Add the cherry plum tomatoes, bring it back to the boil. At this point, I then transfer it all over to an ovenproof dish and tightly secure foil over the top. Pop it in the oven on the top shelf and bake until the rice is cooked and all the stock is absorbed – this will take around 20-25 minutes.

Whilst the risotto is baking, halve the lemon and squeeze the juice into a large bowl. Add the honey and olive oil and whish together with a fork. Remove the top and bottom of the cucumber, cut in half lengthways, then chop in to chunks. Roughly tear the basil leaves.

Next up, drain the mozzarella and cut it in to slices around 1/2cm thick – pat it dry with some kitchen towel.

When the risotto is ready, carefully remove it from the oven and switch over to your grill on a high heat. Take the lid (or foil) off your pot and stir in the butter and three-quarters of the basil leaves. Lay the mozzarella slices on top, then grill until the cheese is bubbling and golden.

That will take four or so minutes, so whilst it’s bubbling (keep your eye on it!) add your cucumber, watercress and remaining basil leaves to your salad dressing and toss to coat it all.

And that’s it!

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