This is one of those recipes that sound really good, but the end result is just okay. I was excited when I saw this recipe in my September 2007 copy of Cooking Light, it seemed to have so much going for it. I added garlic to my recipe thinking it would need that, but in the end it was still lacking in flavor. The balsamic syrup that you drizzle over in the end was wonderful and could have made this dish much better if there was more of it. It was also my first experience with leeks and in my opinion there was way to much of that in the recipe. In the end, I think it needed an addition of Parmesan to give it that added creaminess you expect from risotto. I will try this one again next summer, it could be a really good dish.
As I am typing the recipe, I find that part of my problem is the fact that I don't always pay attention to instructions. The recipe calls for an addition of half and half that I totally forgot to add. There went my creaminess! I will definitely try this one again.
Risotto w/Fresh Mozzarella, Grape Tomatoes & Basil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 1/2 cups fat-free, less- sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped leek
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup half & half
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/4 fresh basil, chopped
5 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, finely diced
Place vinegar in a small, heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until slightly syrupy and reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Keep warm.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek and saute 3 minutes. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add wine and cook 1 minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup of broth; cook five minutes and stir often. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup a time, until liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Stir in half and half, salt and pepper and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat; stir in tomatoes, basil and cheese. Place about 1 cup risotto into six shallow bowls; drizzle each with 1/2 tsp. balsamic syrup and 1/2 tsp. oil.