Monday, April 26, 2010

Weeknight Inspiration: Oven Baked Caprese Risotto

Typically I reserve risotto for weekends or days when I have time to dedicate to cooking which is not usually what I feel like doing when I get home from work.  However, I saw a recipe for this no stir, oven baked risotto in Southern Living recently and decided to give it a try - with a few tweaks of my own, of course.  Not only did it sound easy but it was another version of my favorite foods of late - tomatoes, fresh mozarella and fresh basil to make caprese.  If you'll remember, I also talked about two other versions of this - Chicken Caprese and the spicy arugla caprese salad - both worth trying!

What you need:
2 cups tomatoes (I used cherry but you could use grape - use what you like or what you have on hand)
1 small onion, diced
1 cup (uncooked) arborio rice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups roast chicken (I purchased one of the rotiserrie chickens from the store but they had a half of one which was perfect for this amount and only $3.99!)
1 ball of fresh mozarella cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup fresh shredded basil
1/2 tsp salt
fresh cracked black pepper to taste

What you do:
Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil (less mess to clean up later!) and lay tomatoes out.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes.  Stop if tomatoes begin to burst.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.  Place butter into an oven proof baking dish and bake until the butter is melted and coats the dish.  Once melted, stir in broth, rice onion and salt.  Bake covered for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven.  Fluff rice with a fork.

Stir in the chicken, mozarella, tomatoes and basil.  Serve immediately.

We had some steamed green beans on the side.  I love a green veggie!

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