Autumn is definitely knocking at the door but there is still some summer left, even if it’s not in the weather, it’s in the fresh ingredients from the garden. We were away for 2 weeks and when we got back all our plants and vegetables had exploded, for example out basil plants. Wooooow! They’re massive! So there will be a few basil recipes coming up, great to keep the summer vibes going just a little longer.
This golden yellow risotto is silky smooth, full of sunshine tomato-y flavour, pops of fresh basil and juicy prawns for extra bite.
Tip for making risotto: piping hot stock! Keeping it vegetarian? Leave out the prawns!
Tomato, Saffron and Basil Risotto & Prawns
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 200 g risotto rice
- Splash of white wine or dry sherry, optional
- ± 1 liter chicken or vegetable stock, piping hot
- ± 10 - 15 saffron strands, optional
- 500 g good quality fresh tomatoes, quartered
- Big handful basil, roughly torn
- ± 50 g parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 200 g prawns, deveined and without shell (optional)
Heat the stock in a pan so it's ready to use when needed, the secret to good risotto is hot stock! Also add the saffron strands to the stock if using.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan and add the onion, celery and a pinch of salt.
Sauté on medium heat until softened, ± 3 minutes, then add the garlic. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add the risotto rice and stir to coat it all in the oil. Let it sauté fir 1-2 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the wine and scrape all the goodness from the bottom of the pan. Let it simmer for 1-2 minutes to let the alcohol evaporate.
Add the chopped tomatoes and coat the rice grains with the tomato juices, 1-2 minutes
Add a ladle of hot stock to the rice and stir, let it bubble away on medium heat until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Repeat until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is cooked through, this will take about 25-30 minutes.
The rice is ready when the rice grains have doubled in size, the sauce has a nice shiny glaze to it and the rice is cooked through but doesn't have a hard core anymore.
Just before serving add torn basil leaves and mix well until the leaves have wilted.
Add the parmesan cheese and stir until it's all melted through. Taste and season with pepper and salt and bring to a light simmer.
Add the raw prawns to the risotto and let them slowly cook through until just done, ± 2-3 minutes.
Serve straight away with a drizzle of olive oil and some extra fresh basil leaves.
Serve with a fresh salad on the side (for example with this Lemon Vodka Vinaigrette salad)