This creamy vegan tomato risotto is bursting with sweet and savory flavors from juicy roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions and a touch of thyme!
Last week I talked about how my zucchini plants are doing surprisingly well. Well equally surprising is the fact that my tomato plants are not doing to well. I usually can count on trusty old tomatoes, but this year for some reason they’re looking really sad. It’s still early, so hopefully they’ll perk up!
In any event, I plan to post lots of tomato recipes this summer, whether or not the tomatoes come from my own garden.
For this tomato risotto recipe I used some nice looking store-bought on-the-vine tomatoes, but I also tested it out with canned ones, just in case you want to make this outside tomato season or just want an easier version of the recipe.
The fresh tomato version of the recipe calls for roasting the tomatoes. It’s a bit more work, but the extra flavor you get makes it so worthwhile!
Halve your tomatoes, rub them with some olive oil, and pop them in the oven. They’re done when the skins become wrinkly and maybe form some blisters. Let them cool, remove the skin and seeds, and chop them up.
While the tomatoes roast you’ll caramelize the onions. This can take a while, but it’s mostly hands-off cooking. Once the onions are soft and brown, add the tomatoes, some wine and thyme. Simmer for a few, and then add the rice.
The trick with risotto is to just add a little bit of broth at a time and stir frequently. This is what enables the rice to get nice and creamy.
For extra creaminess I added some coconut milk when the rice was almost done cooking.
Tips for Making Delicious Tomato Risotto
- Save time the day of serving by caramelizing the onions and roasting the tomatoes up to two days in advance. Or just use canned tomatoes!
- If you’re using fresh tomatoes for this, make sure they’re nice and ripe and really good quality. If you make this during the winter or live somewhere where good tomatoes are tough to find you might just want to go with canned.
- This recipe takes some time, but it’s really not a lot of work, I promise! It’s a great one to make over the weekend while you’re working on another project in the kitchen.
- After I made this I thought it might have been nice to double the caramelized onions and use the extra for topping. Will somebody try that and let me know how it goes? :)
Caramelized Onion & Tomato Risotto
This creamy vegan tomato risotto is bursting with sweet and savory flavors from juicy roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions and a touch of thyme.
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 1 pound yellow onions thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon organic granulated sugar
- 2 pounds on the vine tomatoes halved (or a 15 ounce can of tomatoes)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth, warmed
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
Coat the bottom of a large pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place over medium-low heat.
Add the onion and toss a few times to coat the onions with oil.
After 20 or 30 minutes the onions should begin to soften up and darken (if not, turn up the heat just a smidge). Stir in the sugar at this point.
Continue to cook until the onions are very soft and brown, about 30 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
While the onions caramelize, prepare the tomatoes (unless using canned). Preheat the oven to 400°.
Rub the tomato halves with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and arrange them in an oven safe skillet or roasting pan.
Roast the tomatoes until the skins become wrinkly and blistered, about 25 minutes.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow them to cool for a bit.
When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the seeds and peels, then coarsely chop the tomatoes. Retain any juices that form in the pan while they roast.
When the onions are caramelized, turn the heat up to medium and add the garlic. Sauté for about 1 minute, until very fragrant.
Stir in the wine, tomatoes, tomato paste and thyme. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil.
Lower the heat and allow the mixture to cook for about 5 minutes, until the liquid reduces by about a third.
Stir the rice into the pot. Allow the mixture to simmer, stirring frequently, until most of the remaining liquid has been absorbed by the rice.
Begin adding the broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, and allowing the mixture to simmer until most of the liquid as been absorbed before making the next addition. Stir the mixture frequently during this process and continue until you've added between 3 and 4 cups of broth and the rice is tender, for about 20 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk and allow the mixture to simmer for 2 or 3 minutes more, until the sauce is thick and creamy.
Remove the pot from heat and season with salt and pepper.
Divide onto plates and serve.