Wine Match: Restdown 2009 Sangiovese
about 20 cherry tomatoes or 6 romas
1.25L vegetable stock
½ onion, diced
8 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1and ½ cups arborio rice
2 tablespoons Restdown verjus
1 eggplant, sliced into 5mm slices lengthways
2 zucchini, sliced in half lengthways
12 olives, pipped and cut in half
pesto to serve
flat leaf parsley to serve
Preheat oven to 180degrees celsius, toss the tomatoes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a baking dish for 20-30 minutes for cherrys, 50-60 minutes for romas, until soft.
Meanwhile, brush the eggplant and zucchini slices with oil on both sides. Grill on both sides a few minutes, until well browned.
Heat the stock to a light simmer in a saucepan. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy based saucepan and add the onion and basil leaves. Sauté for 2-5 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in the rice, coating it in onion and oil for about 1 minute, then add the verjus. Stir gently allowing the verjus to steam for 1-2 minutes, until it evaporates and reduces a little.
Ladle approximately 250mL of stock into the rice and stir gently. The heat needs to be very low just to encourage a very gentle simmer. Continue to stir the risotto, adding more stock as it is absorbed into the rice. Once you have used nearly all the stock, taste the rice. Once the rice is cooked, remove from the heat. Chop the eggplant, zucchini and roma tomatoes into bite sized pieces and along with the olives, fold gently into the risotto. Serve with a small dollop of pesto and/or parsley.
Adapted from Wholefood by Jude Blereau