Risotto With Oven-Dried Tomato, Basil, and Seared Scallops
2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced
(save 1/2 cup diced onion for the risotto)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large rib celery, diced
1 bunch parsley, washed and chopped
4 or 5 cloves garlic, crushed with skins on
Place all ingredients in a pot and cover with 2 quarts cold water. Simmer for 2 hours.
Slice the tomato into 1/4-inch slices; place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Bake at 275 for 2 hours. Check every 1/2 hour to make sure they are not cooking too quickly. If so, turn oven down.
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1-1/4 cups (dry) arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 to 4 cups hot vegetable stock
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Salt to taste
8 slices oven-dried tomato, cut into fine strips
8 basil leaves, cut into fine strips
Making risotto is a 30-minute process in which small amounts of hot liquid are added and absorbed by rice before more liquid is added. The result is a creamy rice with individual grains that are firm when eaten. In a saucepan, warm the butter or oil over medium heat and add diced onions. Cook and stir until the onions become translucent, then add the rice. Stir for 2 minutes (the rice should not be allowed to brown), then add the wine. Stir until the rice starts to dry out, then start to add the hot vegetable stock in small amounts. Keep stirring! The risotto will start to get creamy. Don't let it cook down too far or it will stick to the pan. Don't let it boil. Keep adding the stock gradually until the rice puffs up. It should be al dente (firm to the tooth). Add a small handful of cheese to the rice and stir it in. (The remaining parmesan will be sprinkled on top of the risotto.) Add the oven-dried tomato and basil.
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 medium-size ocean scallops
Salt and pepper
In a skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil. Let it get almost smoking hot, then sear the scallops quickly, browning them quickly on both sides. Don't overcook them. Slice one in half and check to see that it's opaque and no longer translucent. To serve, put the risotto in two bowls, sprinkle with the remaining parmesan, and put the scallops on top. Garnish with basil.