When our recipe developers first whipped this one up, we all gathered close. "It's...it's beautiful!" someone exclaimed. And it was. Let's just say when we tasted it, we weren't disappointed. Enjoy!
Always refer to the product label for the most accurate ingredient and allergen information.
pine nuts(ContainsTree NutsMay be presentTree Nuts, Gluten, Milk, Peanuts, Sesame, Soy)
shaved Parmesan cheese(ContainsMilk)
baby spinach leaves
basil pesto(ContainsTree Nuts, MilkMay be presentEgg)
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Finely chop the brown onion. Finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press). In a medium frying pan, heat the butter and a drizzle of olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the arborio rice, stir to combine and cook until the rice is coated in oil and looks slightly translucent, 1-2 minutes.
Add the water and crumbled vegetable stock (1 cube for 2 people / 2 cubes for 4 people) to the pan. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Carefully transfer the risotto to a medium baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is ‘al dente’, 24-28 minutes.
TIP: 'Al dente' means the rice is cooked through but still has a bit of firmness in the middle.
While the risotto is baking, cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Pick the thyme leaves. On an oven tray lined with baking paper, place the cherry tomatoes and thyme. Add the balsamic vinegar, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and roast until blistered, 15-20 minutes.
TIP: Hold each thyme sprig at the top, then gently run your fingers down to remove the leaves. If the sprigs are very soft, you can just chop them instead.
Wipe out the frying pan and return to a medium-high heat. Add the pine nuts and toast, tossing, until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Pick and thinly slice the basil leaves. Slice the lemon into wedges.
Remove the risotto from the oven and stir through the baby spinach leaves, shaved Parmesan cheese, basil pesto and 3/4 of the basil. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the roasted cherry tomatoes.
TIP: Seasoning is key in this dish, so taste, season with salt and pepper and taste again.
Divide the oven-baked cherry tomato and pesto risotto between bowls. Top with the toasted pine nuts and remaining basil. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges.