Late Summer Risotto with Roasted Tomatoes, Corn and Figs.
Are you feeling it?! The little bit of September air that’s creeping into ridiculously humid days? Do you want to throw something at your TV if you see the pumpkin spice latte commercial one more time and flip out that there are already cinnamon pine cones in the grocery store?
(Sidebar: why do those smell incredible in the store and then once you bring them home, they smell like… nothing?)
I haven’t been partaking in the OMG-it’s-pumpkin-season craze, but mainly because we are still enjoying the summer days of swimming and eating dinner outside. I actually enjoy the latter more in the fall season and I don’t discriminate the pumpkin lovers, especially this year because it’s the first time I’ve been very excited for autumn in a while. But I mean, the main question on my mind is… what fall nail polish colors should I purchase? That’s about as far as it goes for me.
Because I still want corn on the cob! And tomatoes with basil and balsamic! And maaaaaybe ice cream cones?
Yes. Ice cream cones.
But really, I’m into late summer recipes at the moment. It shouldn’t come as a shock since I’m as basic and cliché-ly predictable as they come. I’ll even wear Uggs in the privacy of my own home, so you know, there’s that.
The thing is, in this area, our corn is still super delicious and our tomatoes are even better. Perhaps the best they’ve been all summer. Yesterday while doing some shopping and prep for the week, I finally started to notice the dwindling piles of peaches and plums and corn, but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw this recipe together tonight for dinner.
Dooooo it. You may only have a week left!
Into this pot, stirred into the creamiest risotto, we have slow-roasted, herb-sprinkled tomatoes, fresh sweet corn and sliced figs. I’m having a huge fig moment right now because I adore them. You might remember back when I started this blog, I told the story of how I was first introduced to them and I’ve been hooked ever since. I went the first twenty years of my life without a fig touching my lips, and let’s just say I feel seriously deprived.
My obsession started with dried figs (which I freak over – they are SO much better than dates, people!) and eventually when I found fresh, I nearly lost my marbles.
Thankfully, when I walked into my favorite local market last week they had a big diaply of figs.
I bought TEN containers. Yes ten. I am excessively embarrassing.
In my own defense though, I had multiple recipes for multiple projects that were in desperate need of figs, and not only were these figs right at my fingertips, they were STUNNING. They were not bruised or moldy at all.
Naturally, I made a bunch of other recipes with figs, like this summer risotto because I can’t help but trash up every recipe idea that passes through my brain. I’m completely loving these seasonal transition meals – the dishes that bridge the gap between the summer and fall season, the ones that I can take with me into October as we switch from cold, fresh salads to more comforting soups and warm, creamy dishes.
And ones that, of course, include CHEESE.
Late Summer Risotto with Roasted Tomatoes, Corn and Figs
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes (I used an heirloom variety), sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 to 5 cups low-sodium chicken stock, warmed
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 2 ears sweet corn, kernels cut from the cob
- 1 pint figs, sliced or quartered
- a handful of fresh basil, chopped
- 3 tablespoons freshly snipped chives
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Like a baking sheet with foil. Add the tomatoes and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until the tomatoes are deep in color and caramely and crumpled. Remove from the oven once finished.
While the tomatoes are roasting, heat a large pot or saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining olive oil with the butter. Add the rice and stirring often, toast the rice until it's somewhat translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the white wine, constantly stirring or at least stirring every minute or so, until the rice absorbs the wine. Once the wine is absorbed, add in 1 1/2 cups of the stock, stirring until the rice absorbs the liquid like it did with the wine. Repeat this 2 to 3 more times, until all stock has been added and the rice is al dente. You want it to appear "hydrated" - and want there to be some liquid left when serving. This process should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
Just before the risotto is almost finished, stir in the parmesan cheese. Stir in the tomatoes, fresh corn and figs. Stir in most of the chives and basil. Taste and if desired, add a bit of salt and pepper (this will depend on the saltiness of your cheese and the taste of your tomatoes). Serve immediately with the remaining chives and basil. Top with freshly grated parmesan.
That bite though!