Making risotto used to mean some pretty heavy lifting in the kitchen, but not anymore. Shifting rice prep from constant stirring to set-it-and-forget-it oven baking gives you the luxury of making some killer embellishments (here’s looking at you, zucchini ribbons, roasted shallots, and tomatoes). Best of all, our foolproof baking method guarantees the creamy/tender rice texture that’s made this dish world famous.
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Heirloom Grape Tomatoes
Veggie Stock Concentrate
Wash and dry all produce. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mince or grate garlic. Using a vegetable peeler, shave zucchini lengthwise into ribbons, rotating until you get to the seedy core. Dice seedy core. Quarter and peel shallots. Halve tomatoes. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine stock concentrates and 3 cups water. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
Heat 1 TBSP butter and a large drizzle of olive oil in a large lidded oven-safe pot (or pan) over medium-high heat. Add garlic and zucchini core and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice and Italian seasoning and cook, stirring, until rice is translucent, 1-2 minutes.
Pour stock into pot and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then cover and carefully transfer to oven. Bake until rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 20-25 minutes. (TIP: Mixture will seem loose; it will finish cooking on the stove.)
Meanwhile, place shallots and tomatoes on a large piece of aluminum foil. Lift and crimp sides of foil to make a bowl. Pour in vinegar and a large drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast until shallots and tomatoes are softened and juicy, 15-20 minutes. Zest 1 TBSP zest from lemon, then cut into wedges.
Once risotto is tender, remove from oven and remove lid. Place pot over medium-low heat. Stir in zucchini ribbons and cook, stirring often, until tender, 3-5 minutes. Stir in half the roasted shallots and tomatoes along with any roasting liquid. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 TBSP butter, half the Parmesan, and juice from 2 lemon wedges. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Divide risotto between plates. Top with remaining shallots and tomatoes. Sprinkle with lemon zest and remaining Parmesan. Serve with remaining lemon wedges.