What’s not to love about risotto? It’s luxurious and comforting--one of those dishes that never fails to satisfy. Risotto has the reputation of being labor intensive, but we’re here to dispel that rumor--ours couldn’t be easier to whip up! This version begins as classic as can be, with nutty Parmesan and rich stock. It’s then topped with tangy balsamic-glazed zucchini and grape tomatoes, two perfect contrasts to risotto’s creamy richness. For a finishing touch, everything receives a drizzle of basil-infused olive oil.
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Veggie Stock Concentrate
Tuscan Heat Spice
In a medium pot, combine 4 cups water (7 cups for 4 servings) and stock concentrates. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Meanwhile, wash and dry all produce. Trim and thinly slice scallions, separating whites from greens.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add scallion whites; cook until softened, 1-2 minutes. Add rice and 2 tsp Tuscan Heat Spice (4 tsp for 4; you’ll use the rest later). Stir until rice is translucent, 1-2 minutes. Add ½ cup stock; stir until liquid has mostly absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock—adding ½ cup at a time and stirring until liquid has absorbed— until rice is al dente and mixture is creamy, 25-30 minutes. TIP: Depending on the size of your pan, you may need a little more or a little less liquid.
Once risotto has cooked for 20 minutes, halve tomatoes. Trim and dice zucchini into ½-inch pieces. Heat a drizzle of basil oil (about 1 tsp) in a second large pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and remaining Tuscan Heat Spice. Cook, stirring, until tender and lightly browned, 4-6 minutes.
Add tomatoes and half the vinegar (use all for 4 servings) to pan with zucchini. Cook, stirring, until tomatoes have softened, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat.
Once rice is al dente, stir in 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4 servings) and half the Parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Divide risotto between bowls. Top with veggies, scallion greens, and remaining Parmesan. Drizzle with remaining basil oil to taste.