1 lb cherry or grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4–6 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1 1/2 cups arborio rice or Spanish short-grain rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
6–8 cups veggie stock or chicken stock, warmed
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Garnishes: Italian parsley (or basil), lemon zest, and chili flakes
Seared Prawns (optional, see notes)
16 ounces large shrimp -raw, peeled, deveined (or sub a white fish)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
oil for searing
BLISTER TOMATOES In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes (whole) and sear, stirring occasionally, until they burst and soften, about 7 minutes. Turn heat off. Chop if extra-large.
MAKE RISOTTO: At the same time, in a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Saute until golden about 10-12 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, saute 2 more minutes until fragrant.
Add the rice, saute 1 minute, stirring. Add 2 cups warm stock (enough to cover the rice), saffron and smoked paprika, stir and bring to a simmer. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add 1 cup broth and the tomatoes and all their juices. Stir until all the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1 cup at a time, letting the rice absorb it slowly, stirring often over med-low heat, until the rice is plumped, slightly al dente, yet creamy, about 20-25 minutes. You may not need all 8 cups. ( I used 6 3/4).
Stir in the butter and parmesan. Season generously with salt, pepper, and optional chili flakes. Taste, adjust salt. If bland, it probably needs more salt.
Serve as a flavorful side or vegetarian main, garnishing with fresh parsley and lemon zest.
Optional Seared Prawns:
If adding the prawns, mix spices and salt in a bowl. Coat shrimp with the spices. Heat 2-3 tablespoons oil in a skillet (you may need to do this in batches) over medium-high heat, sear each side 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. Top the risotto with the seared prawns.