CREAMY TOMATO SAFFRON RISOTTO

CREAMY TOMATO SAFFRON RISOTTO

Herb and spice tomato saffron risotto mixed with orzo, walnut and white truffle oil. Topped with a creamy sauté of sweet red roasted peppers, onion, tomato, Kalamata olive and more white truffle oil. Drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with cracked pepper. Walk On Water rich and elegant!

Makes 10 cups rice and 4 cups sauce

2 c. water

2 c. tomato juice

2 c. long grain brown rice

2 t. salt

3 c. unsweetened almond milk

1 T. dried basil

1 T. mild curry powder

2 t. garlic powder

1 t. mild paprika

2 t. ground coriander

4 t. sugar

¼ t. ground allspice

¼ t. red cayenne pepper

lots of freshly ground black pepper

1 c. additional almond milk

1 t. liquid smoke

1 t. dried rubbed sage

pinch of saffron stigmas/ or powder

¼ c. walnut oil (a good flavorful one)

2 t. white truffle oil

½ c. dried orzo pasta

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

7.5 oz. jar sliced mushrooms, drained; save liquid

4-5 sm. yellow onions; cut in half from end to end and cut crosswise into ¼ inch half rings

5 fresh Roma tomatoes, diced into 3/8 inch cubes

20 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

3 T. olive juice from olives

12 oz. jar drained sweet red roasted peppers, cut into ½ inch squares or 1 x ¼ inch strips; save liquid

liquid from roasted peppers

liquid from mushrooms

1/3 c. tomato juice

1 t. garlic powder

1 t. sugar

1 T. dried tarragon

¾ c. plain soy sour cream

1-2 t. white truffle oil

salt to taste

cracked black pepper garnish

extra virgin olive oil drizzle

Rice:

In large saucepan combine water, tomato juice, brown rice and salt. Stir, bring to boil, stir again, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 55 minutes.

Add 3 cups almond milk, basil, curry, garlic powder, paprika, coriander, sugar, allspice, red cayenne pepper and black pepper. Stir well, raise heat to just a ting above the low heat you cooked the rice over, cover tightly and cook 10 minutes.

Add 1 cup additional almond milk, liquid smoke, sage, saffron, walnut oil and white truffle oil. Stir well, cover and cook another 10 minutes on medium-low heat. When 10 minutes is up, stir well, scraping bottom of pan with spoon. Turn off heat.

Cook ½ cup dried orzo in lots of salted boiling water till tender; drain in wire mesh strainer/colander. Set aside.

Creamy Saute:

In large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt olive oil. Add drained mushrooms and sauté till golden and just a little crimped around the edges of the mushrooms.

Add onion; salt lightly and sauté till wilted and slightly charred. Reduce heat to low.

Add tomatoes, Kalamata olives plus olive juice, drained roasted pepper strips plus pepper liquid, and mushroom liquid. Stir well.

Add tomato juice, garlic powder, sugar and tarragon, stirring after each addition.

Now add soy sour cream, stir dill dissolved and evenly dispersed.

Add white truffle oil, stir in oil, salt to taste and turn off heat.

To serve: Mix cooked, drained orzo into risotto. Stir to evenly distribute. Ladle 1 cup creamy risotto onto individual serving plates. Sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper, then drizzle each with extra virgin olive oil.

Top each serving of rice with 1/3 cup creamy sauté, then sprinkle with additional cracked pepper. Serve.

Notes: Creamy risotto by its nature takes a long time to cook, that’s why we use brown rice as the base. The orzo adds a soft texture to the mix without you really knowing it’s there.

You’ll only make this dish once or twice a year, or some variation of it, so take your time and do it right. You’ll be rewarded with an amazing savory-smooth experience!

If the rice still has some teeny hard bits in it as you test-chew it, add a little more almond milk and cook it longer. When you add the orzo at the end, it thickens considerably. Keep that in mind.

This is one dish where you don’t need a lot of sauce as the topping. One third cup on top of 1 cup rice is perfect. It’s all delicious and all rich.

When you drizzle the olive oil over the rice, before topping with the creamy sauté, be liberal. Most of your friends will be sitting around the barbecue pit chomping on fatty pieces of animal tissue; give yourself the treat of a little more extra virgin olive oil for one meal.

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