This was actually a fabulously tasty dinner borne out a random fridge emptying operation!. You know those times when there doesn’t appear to be anything too interesting and you rustle up what there is anyway, and hope for the best. And actually it was really rather good and has since been made a couple of times, and not just when I’m in fridge clearing mode! What’s more the kids ate it, Jacques in the main because it contained an ample amount of his beloved olives (especially taking into account his sister’s discarded ones), and Francesca who claims to not like tomatoes happily ate these sweet roasted ones. Result. And us big people loved it too, so a perfect family dinner all in all.
To be fair I probably wouldn’t be feeding this risotto to an Italian or Risotto Aficionado. I mean feta in a risotto?. It’s all a bit wrong really. But hey this Greek/Italian fusion worked for my lot and interestingly, while I was stirring away, as you do with a risotto, I couldn’t help but think it all looked a bit like a hot greek salad. And besides, since it has no cow’s dairy but sheep’s milk Feta it’s something I can happily give to Jacques who appears to be dairy intolerant. It’s certainly one of my healthier risottos and a fab way of getting lots of the good stuff into little (and big) tums!
Simply oven roasted cherry tomatoes (with fresh thyme if you have any), roasting while you make the risotto. Then stirred into a super-healthy risotto of red pepper, courgette, olives (black or green) and blasphemous Feta cheese. De. Lish. Ous.
Since there’s fresh thyme involved I’m entering this post
to Karen of Lavender & Lovage Cooking with Herbs challenge. Also as it was a genuine fridge-clearing concoction to Credit Crunch Munch, hosted by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours and this month by Sian at Fishfingers for Tea. To to Javelin Warrior‘s Made with Love Monday’s event, as this is a made from scratch meal. And finally as tommies are now in season to Ren Behan’s Simple and in Season challenge. Phew that’s quite a few entries!
Roasted Tomato & Feta Risotto
Great for: Toddlers & Pre-schoolers, Bigger Kids, Grown Ups, Family Dinners, Mid-Week Suppers, Risotto Fans, Vegetarians. Not for Risotto Aficionados
Serves: A Family of 4
Total Cook Time: 45 minutes
450g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
a few sprigs fresh thyme. leaves removed
small onion, finely diced
1 small red pepper, cut into fine strips
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
220g arborio risotto rice
large glass white wine
700ml hot vegetable stock, I use Marigold
1 small courgette, diced
60g green or black pitted olives, halved, optional
120g Feta cheese, crumbled
1. Preheat your oven to 200ºC
2. Place the halved cherry tomatoes cut side up on a large roasted tin. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt, black pepper and the thyme leaves. Finally drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place in the hot oven for 25 minutes.
3. Whilst the tomatoes are roasting, prep the risotto. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan on a gentle heat. Sweat the onion and red pepper strips for 10 minutes with the lid on, stirring every now and again and adding a splash of water if the veggies look a little dry and are sticking.
4. Stir in the garlic and allow to cook for a moment or two before stirring in the risotto rice, ensuring the grains get a good coating of the oil. Poor in the wine and stir.
5. Allow to simmer (uncovered) on a gentle heat until most of the wine has evaporated/absorbed then stir in a ladleful of the hot stock together with the diced courgette and olives (if using). Continue to stir at regular intervals adding further ladlefuls of stock every time the last one’s almost absorbed.
6. When the rice is tender stir in the roasted tomatoes, together with any juices from the tray, and the crumbled feta. Place the lid back on the pan and allow the flavours to rest and mingle for a couple of minutes.
7. Taste and season to suit. No added salt for littlies. Serve as is or with a sprinkling of grated fresh Parmesan.
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