Bruschetta Risotto

Ingredients • 2 cups bruschetta, juice drained & reserved (about 2/3 cup juice) • 4 cups stock • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 small shallot, finely chopped • 1 garlic clove, minced • 1 and 1/2 cups Arborio rice • 1/3 cup white wine • 3/4 to 1 cup grated hard cheese, such as Parmesan, plus extra for serving • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil • salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste Method In a small saucepan, combine the stock and drained bruschetta juice and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat and maintain at a simmer. In a medium, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil until shimmering, but not smoking. Add the shallot, stir and sauté until just softened, 1 – 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add rice, stir to coat in oil and sauté, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until wine is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the hot stock to the rice, stirring constantly. Allow the rice/stock mixture to cook at a lively simmer, stirring to prevent sticking. The pace of cooking risotto is key: cook too quickly, and the stock will boil off before the rice can absorb it, but cook too slowly and the rice becomes mushy and glutinous instead of!al dente. Within 3 – 5 minutes, 1 cup of stock should be mostly absorbed and you should need to add more to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.!Add!additional stock, in 1/2-cup increments, stirring between additions and letting the rice absorb almost all of the stock before adding more, about 3 minutes per addition, for a total of approximately 20 minutes. When you’re down to the last 1/2 cup of stock, add the drained bruschetta and stir well. Cook, stirring, as the vegetables soften somewhat and release more juice; stir constantly, and when the tomato juice is nearly all absorbed, add the last 1/2 cup of stock. Cook, stirring, until the stock is mostly absorbed. Taste: if rice is creamy but nicely al dente, remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese (if not, lower heat and cook, stirring, for a few more minutes). Add salt & pepper and taste again. Serve immediately, garnished with slivered basil and grated cheese. Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as an appetizer. Classic Bruschetta !1 and 1/2 lbs ripe plum tomatoes (or other meaty tomato variety), diced to 1/4-inch 1 small head garlic, or about 6 large cloves, minced 1 medium shallot, finely chopped (about 2 tbsp) 1 cup fresh basil leaves, slivered 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste) 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)