Sun-Dried-Tomato and Pesto Risotto Recipe

If you are looking for a hearty, flavorful, and rich dish that is easy to prepare, look no further than this sun-dried tomato and pesto risotto recipe. The robust flavors of sun-dried tomatoes and pesto perfectly complement the creamy risotto, providing an indulgent treat that is perfect for a cosy dinner at home or a special occasion.

Sun-Dried-Tomato and Pesto Risotto Recipe
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Photos of Sun-Dried-Tomato and Pesto Risotto Recipe

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While most of the ingredients are easy to find, you might need to head to a well-stocked grocery store or an Italian specialty shop for a couple of items. The sun-dried tomatoes might not be in your regular pantry list but they are an essential part of this recipe, giving the risotto its unique, tangy flavor. Arborio rice, another key ingredient, is a short-grain rice that is typically used in risotto recipes because of its ability to absorb liquids and flavors.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Risotto Ingredients

Chicken broth: A flavorful liquid that forms the base of the risotto.

Arborio rice: A short-grain rice known for its high starch content, which gives risotto its characteristic creamy texture.

Sun dried tomatoes: They add a tangy, intensely tomato flavor to the dish.

Pesto: A green sauce made from basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil. It adds a fresh and vibrant flavor to the risotto.

Parmesan: A hard, granular cheese that adds a salty, umami flavor to the risotto.

One reader, Hasheem Horning says:

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This sun-dried tomato and pesto risotto recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are so rich and vibrant, and the texture is perfectly creamy. It's become a family favorite in our household. I love how the sun-dried tomatoes and pesto add a burst of Mediterranean flavor to the dish. It's a must-try!

Hasheem Horning

Key Techniques for Crafting the Perfect Risotto

How to prepare the broth: In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth and water to a simmer.

How to sauté the onions: In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.

How to cook the risotto: Add the rice to the pot and stir until it begins to turn opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and salt, then cook, stirring frequently, until all the wine has been absorbed. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and about 1/2 cup of the simmering broth to the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the broth has been completely absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and allowing the rice to absorb the broth before adding the next 1/2 cup. Cook the rice in this way until tender, 25 to 30 minutes in all.

How to finish the risotto: Stir in the pepper, pesto, and parmesan. Serve the risotto with additional parmesan.

How to serve with wine: Wine recommendation: Go for a vibrant sauvignon blanc from the Collio district of Friuli. The herbal components of the wine will mesh beautifully with the pesto in the risotto.

How To Make Sun-Dried-Tomato and Pesto Risotto

Pesto risotto with sun-dried tomatoes, white wine, olive oil, and parmesan make for a tasty and elegant dish that will surely impress everyone.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 35 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 5cupschicken broth,low sodium
  • 1cupwater
  • 3tbspolive oil
  • 1onion
  • 2cupsarborio rice
  • ½cupdry white wine
  • tspsalt
  • ½cupsun dried tomatoes,dry packed or oil packed
  • ¼tspfresh ground black pepper
  • 3tbsppesto
  • ¼cupparmesan,grated

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and water to a simmer. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat.

  2. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the rice to the pot and stir for about 2 minutes until it begins to turn opaque.

  3. Add the wine and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until all the wine has been absorbed.

  4. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and about half a cup of the simmering broth to the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the broth has been completely absorbed. The rice and broth should bubble gently; adjust the heat as needed.

  5. Continue cooking the rice, adding broth ½ cup at a time and allowing the rice to absorb the broth before adding the next ½ cup.

  6. Cook the rice in this way for 25 to 30 minutes until tender. Stir in the pepper, pesto and Parmesan.

  7. Serve the risotto with additional Parmesan, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 688.82kcal
  • Fat: 20.89g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.61g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 10.03g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.98g
  • Carbohydrates: 98.60g
  • Fiber: 4.42g
  • Sugar: 8.96g
  • Protein: 19.36g
  • Cholesterol: 16.32mg
  • Sodium: 1299.94mg
  • Calcium: 163.62mg
  • Potassium: 700.00mg
  • Iron: 6.10mg
  • Vitamin A: 25.26µg
  • Vitamin C: 5.56mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Mastering Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Risotto

When making risotto, it's crucial to stir the rice frequently. This helps to release the starch from the rice, which gives the risotto its characteristic creamy texture. However, be careful not to stir too vigorously or too often, as this can cause the rice to break down and become mushy. A gentle, consistent stirring motion is best. Also, adding the broth gradually, allowing the rice to absorb each addition before adding the next, ensures that the rice cooks evenly and achieves the perfect al dente texture.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Risotto

Prep ahead: Chop the onions and sun-dried tomatoes in advance to save time during the cooking process.

Use store-bought pesto: Opt for store-bought pesto instead of making it from scratch to cut down on prep time.

Keep broth warm: Keep the broth warm in a separate pot to avoid waiting for it to come to a simmer each time you add it to the risotto.

Multi-task: While the risotto is cooking, prepare a simple side salad or vegetable dish to serve alongside the main course.

Organize ingredients: Measure and organize all ingredients before starting to streamline the cooking process.

Use a pressure cooker: Consider using a pressure cooker to make the risotto, which can significantly reduce the cooking time.

Opt for quick-cooking rice: Choose quick-cooking rice varieties to cut down on the overall cooking time for the risotto.

Prep parmesan in advance: Grate the parmesan cheese in advance and store it in an airtight container for easy use during cooking.

Substitute Ingredients For Sun-Dried-Tomato and Pesto Risotto Recipe

  • chicken broth - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can provide a similar depth of flavor and richness to the risotto without the use of chicken broth.

  • arborio rice - Substitute with carnaroli rice: Carnaroli rice has a similar creamy texture and ability to absorb flavors, making it an excellent substitute for arborio rice in risotto recipes.

  • dry white wine - Substitute with vegetable broth mixed with a splash of white wine vinegar: This combination can mimic the acidity and complexity that dry white wine adds to the risotto.

  • sun dried tomatoes - Substitute with fresh tomatoes roasted in the oven: Roasting fresh tomatoes can provide a similar concentrated flavor and texture to the dish.

  • parmesan - Substitute with grana padano: Grana padano is a hard Italian cheese with a similar nutty and savory flavor profile to parmesan, making it a suitable substitute in the risotto.

Presentation Ideas for Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Risotto

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the sun-dried tomato and pesto risotto, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing presentation. Use a ring mold to shape the risotto into a perfect round, and carefully remove the mold to reveal a beautiful, compact mound of risotto on the plate.

  2. Garnish with sun-dried tomatoes: Thinly slice a few sun-dried tomatoes and arrange them artfully on top of the risotto. Their vibrant color and intense flavor will add a pop of visual interest and a burst of rich, tangy taste to each bite.

  3. Drizzle with pesto: Create a striking drizzle of vibrant green pesto around the edge of the plate. Use a squeeze bottle or a small spoon to create a delicate, artistic design that complements the earthy flavors of the risotto.

  4. Sprinkle with Parmesan: Finely grate a touch of parmesan over the top of the risotto just before serving. The savory, nutty notes of the cheese will enhance the overall flavor profile and add a touch of sophistication to the dish.

  5. Add a touch of microgreens: Place a small cluster of microgreens on top of the risotto for a fresh, vibrant touch. The delicate, tender greens will provide a subtle contrast in both flavor and texture, elevating the overall presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Risotto

  • Medium saucepan: A medium-sized pot used for simmering liquids, making sauces, and cooking grains.
  • Large pot: A big cooking vessel used for boiling, simmering, and cooking large quantities of food.
  • Wooden spoon: A kitchen utensil used for stirring, mixing, and serving food.
  • Saucepan: A small, deep cooking pot with a long handle, used for making sauces and heating liquids.
  • Spatula: A flat, flexible kitchen tool used for flipping, spreading, and serving food.
  • Grater: A kitchen tool with sharp-edged holes used for grating cheese, vegetables, and other foods.
  • Measuring cup: A container used for measuring liquid or dry ingredients.
  • Measuring spoons: A set of spoons used for measuring small amounts of ingredients.
  • Chef's knife: A versatile kitchen knife used for chopping, slicing, and dicing various ingredients.
  • Cutting board: A durable board used as a surface for cutting and preparing food.
  • Medium mixing bowl: A bowl used for combining and mixing ingredients.
  • Whisk: A kitchen tool used for blending, whipping, and beating ingredients.
  • Ladle: A long-handled spoon with a deep bowl, used for serving soups, stews, and sauces.
  • Tongs: A kitchen tool with two arms and a pivot used for gripping and lifting food.
  • Colander: A bowl-shaped kitchen utensil with perforations used for draining liquids from food.
  • Grater: A kitchen tool with sharp-edged holes used for grating cheese, vegetables, and other foods.
  • Risotto pan: A wide, shallow pan with sloping sides, ideal for cooking risotto.

Storing and Freezing Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Risotto

  • To store leftover sun-dried tomato and pesto risotto, allow it to cool completely to room temperature. Transfer the risotto to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  • When reheating refrigerated risotto, add a splash of chicken broth or water to help loosen the consistency and prevent it from drying out. Heat the risotto in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until warmed through.
  • To freeze risotto, portion it into individual serving sizes and transfer to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. Label the containers with the date and contents, and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • To reheat frozen risotto, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Place the thawed risotto in a saucepan and add a small amount of chicken broth or water. Heat the risotto over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until it is warmed through and has reached the desired consistency. You may need to add more liquid as needed to achieve the right texture.
  • If you find that the reheated risotto has lost some of its creaminess, stir in a small amount of butter or grated Parmesan cheese to help restore its richness and flavor.
  • Keep in mind that the texture of the risotto may change slightly after freezing and reheating, as the rice may become softer and less al dente. However, the flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes and pesto will still be delicious.

How to Reheat Leftover Risotto

  • Reheat the risotto in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. If the risotto seems too thick, add a splash of chicken broth or water to help loosen it up and restore its creamy texture.

  • For a quick and easy reheating method, place the leftover risotto in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the risotto is heated through and steaming.

  • To add a crispy texture to your leftover risotto, try forming it into small patties and pan-frying them in a bit of olive oil or butter until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Serve these risotto cakes as a unique appetizer or side dish.

  • If you have a lot of leftover risotto, consider transforming it into a comforting soup. In a large pot, combine the risotto with additional chicken broth or vegetable broth, and simmer until heated through. Add your favorite vegetables, proteins, or herbs to create a hearty and satisfying meal.

  • For a no-fuss reheating option, place the leftover risotto in an oven-safe dish, cover it with foil, and bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking to allow any excess moisture to evaporate and the top to crisp up slightly.

Interesting Fact About Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Risotto

The sun-dried tomato and pesto risotto recipe is a delicious and versatile dish that can be served as a main course or a side dish. It's a great way to incorporate the rich flavors of sun-dried tomatoes and the aromatic essence of pesto into a creamy and satisfying risotto. This dish pairs well with a vibrant sauvignon blanc from the Collio district of Friuli, as the herbal components of the wine complement the pesto in the risotto. Enjoy this flavorful and comforting dish with friends and family for a memorable dining experience.

Is Making Risotto at Home Cost-Effective?

This sun-dried tomato and pesto risotto recipe is moderately cost-effective for a household. The key ingredients like arborio rice, sun-dried tomatoes, and parmesan can be used in multiple dishes, making it a good investment. The addition of pesto may increase the cost slightly, but its versatility justifies the expense. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20. Overall Verdict: 8/10. This flavorful and satisfying dish offers a good balance of cost and quality, making it a worthwhile addition to your culinary repertoire.

Is This Risotto Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

The sun-dried tomato and pesto risotto recipe is a delicious and comforting dish, but it may not be the healthiest option due to several factors:

  • The recipe calls for a significant amount of oil and parmesan cheese, which are high in fat and calories
  • White rice, such as arborio, is a refined grain that has been stripped of its fiber and nutrients
  • The recipe lacks a significant source of protein and vegetables, which are essential for a balanced meal

However, the recipe does include some healthy ingredients, such as sun-dried tomatoes and onions, which provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace half of the arborio rice with a whole grain variety, such as brown rice or quinoa, to increase the fiber and nutrient content
  • Reduce the amount of oil and cheese used in the recipe, or opt for healthier alternatives like olive oil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast
  • Add more vegetables to the dish, such as spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers, to increase the vitamin and mineral content
  • Include a lean protein source, such as grilled chicken or shrimp, to make the meal more balanced and satisfying
  • Use low-sodium chicken broth to reduce the overall sodium content of the dish

By making these adjustments, you can transform this risotto into a healthier and more nutrient-dense meal that still retains its delicious flavor and creamy texture.

Editor's Opinion: Thoughts on This Risotto Recipe

As a culinary expert, I find this sun-dried tomato and pesto risotto recipe to be a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The use of sun-dried tomatoes adds a rich, intense sweetness, while the pesto brings a vibrant, herbaceous note to the creamy risotto. The addition of white wine adds depth and complexity to the dish. The recommended sauvignon blanc wine pairing is a thoughtful touch, as its herbal notes complement the pesto beautifully. Overall, this recipe offers a sophisticated and satisfying dining experience.

Enhance Your Sun-Dried-Tomato and Pesto Risotto Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus: Try serving a side of roasted asparagus with a garlic parmesan topping to complement the rich flavors of the sun-dried tomato and pesto risotto.
Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts: For a tangy and sweet side dish, consider balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts to add a burst of flavor to your meal.
Honey Butter Roasted Carrots: Roast some carrots with a honey butter glaze for a sweet and savory side that will balance the creamy texture of the risotto.
Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Bell Peppers: Create a unique side dish by serving mushroom and spinach stuffed bell peppers to add a pop of color and a variety of textures to your meal.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Risotto

Creamy Mushroom Risotto: This creamy mushroom risotto is a comforting and flavorful dish that combines the earthy flavors of mushrooms with the richness of parmesan cheese and arborio rice.
Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken: This lemon garlic roasted chicken is a simple yet delicious recipe that infuses the meat with zesty lemon and aromatic garlic, resulting in a juicy and flavorful dish.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: This mango coconut chia pudding is a refreshing and healthy dessert that combines the sweetness of mango with the creaminess of coconut milk and the nutritional benefits of chia seeds.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Complement Risotto

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a rich and creamy blend of cheeses and herbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil: Indulge in the classic combination of ripe tomatoes, fragrant basil, and garlic atop crispy, toasted bread. This refreshing bruschetta is a surefire way to awaken your taste buds.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will leave your taste buds craving more.
Lemon Tart: Savor the tangy and refreshing taste of a lemon tart, with a buttery and flaky crust. The zesty lemon filling is perfectly balanced with a hint of sweetness, making it a delightful dessert for any occasion.

Why trust this Sun-Dried-Tomato and Pesto Risotto Recipe:

This recipe guarantees a delightful dining experience with its combination of sun-dried tomatoes and pesto that infuse the risotto with rich, savory flavors. The use of arborio rice ensures a creamy and luxurious texture, while the addition of parmesan adds a delightful nuttiness. The step-by-step instructions and wine pairing suggestion demonstrate a deep understanding of culinary techniques and flavors. Trust the expertise behind this recipe to elevate your cooking skills and impress your guests with a restaurant-quality dish.

Have you tried this Sun-Dried-Tomato and Pesto Risotto Recipe? Share your experience and any tips you may have in the Recipe Sharing forum!
FAQ:
Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?
Yes, you can definitely use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. It will give the risotto a slightly different flavor, but it will still be delicious.
Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of sun-dried tomatoes?
While sun-dried tomatoes have a more concentrated flavor, you can use fresh tomatoes as a substitute. Just be aware that the flavor profile will be different.
Can I make this recipe without wine?
Absolutely! If you prefer not to use wine, you can simply omit it. You can add a splash of lemon juice for a touch of acidity if desired.
How do I know when the risotto is done cooking?
The risotto is done cooking when the rice is tender yet still slightly firm to the bite, and the texture is creamy. It should take about 25 to 30 minutes of cooking and constant stirring.
Can I freeze the leftover risotto?
Risotto can be frozen, but the texture may change slightly upon reheating. If you do freeze it, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator and gently reheat it on the stovetop with a little extra broth to restore its creamy texture.

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