All of the seasons are lovely in their own way, but the fall is my favorite, partly because of how beautiful the changes in nature are. On the other hand, fall is essentially a season of winding down and saying goodbye, really, to the wide-open busyness of summer and this always come with a certain amount of wistfulness for me. Some of the signs that signal the beginning of the end are visible. The darkness, of course, comes earlier in the evenings and the constellation Orion is in full view in the morning sky. My mornings on our Maine windjammer are greeted by a deep darkness, punctuated only by stars and moonlight. The air is crisp, cleaner, sharper somehow and the colors of ruby and amber are just starting to show amidst the dark green of the evergreens.
One of the dishes that is a favorite of mine when the weather turns cooler is risotto. This one, however, still has several nods to the summer with the basil, tomato and green beans while still satisfying with it’s heartiness.
Risotto with Cherry Tomatoes, Green Beans and Basil
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups Arborio rice, short grain white rice
1 cup white wine
7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3/4 cup grated Parmegiano Regiano cheese
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 cups fresh green beans, destemed and cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons basil
Melt butter in stockpot over medium high heat. Add minced onion and salt. When onions are translucent, add rice and stir. Add the wine and 1/3 of the stock and stir. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to add water as needed. It is not necessary to continually stir, just keep coming back to the pot and checking the liquid level occasionally. When most of the liquid is incorporated, about 20 minutes, add the green beans and the rest of the liquid. When the rice is al dente, meaning that you can feel the tiniest crunch in the center of the grain, add the cheese, tomatoes and basil. Serve immediately.
Serves 6 to 8
Wishing summer lasted a little longer
© 2008 Baggywrinkle Publishing