lemongrass risotto with vine tomatoes & haloumi skewers

hello lovelies! i’m sorry but i can’t write a lot tonight… i’ve been so efficient and on the run without really a break today, i feel exhausted. when i got up at six this morning, i started to clean a bit (i find myself doing a bit of cleaning on many mornings), then i couldn’t stop and in the end i had the whole flat cleaned by 8am (and it was desperately necessary). such things happen when your stupid cleaning company isn’t really all that professional. duh!
so anyway, after this efficiency i’m tired. somebody told me today i sleep too much to be efficient and get everything done in due time? well, thank you very much. but i officially admit: i love a good night’s sleep… i could never become a person with only 3 hours of sleep at night, just for the sake of efficiency. could you? let’s be honest: life is just to good not to sleep! haha.
lemon grass risotto with roasted vine tomatoes, grilled haloumi skewers & basil oil
for four people
ingredients:
2 cups of risotto rice
2 cups of white wine
1 liter of vegetable bouillon, kept simmering on the stove meanwhile
1 onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves removed, soft core minced
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp. mascarpone
1 tbsp. lemon zest
1/2 lemon, juice
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt, pepper
for the top:
2 haloumi cheeses (or about 600 grams) + wooden skewers
4 vine tomato branches (with about 5 tomatoes per branch)
drizzle olive oil
salt, pepper
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup olive oil
salt, pepper
lime oil (for finishing touch)
directions:
start by heating the bouillon in a saucepan and keep heated. heat olive oil in a large saucepan, sweat the onion, garlic, lemongrass and rice in it for 2 minutes. deglaze with the white wine. add the lemon zest. stir continually. when the wine is evaporated, continue to add liquid (now broth) and stir on. whenever liquid is incorporated in the rice, add more liquid. proceed until the rice is cooked al dente.
in the meantime: preheat the oven to 220 degrees c. place the tomatoes (on the branches) in a oven proof pan, drizzle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for twenty or so minutes.
next, cut the haloumi cheese into cubes and pull onto wooden skewers. place on a baking pan lined with a parchment paper. grill in the oven (one oven layer over tomatoes) for 15 minutes or until golden.
and: for the basil oil (note: i love a good pesto-like drizzle on almost any dish… it adds flavor and color). you can either quickly blanch the basil leaves in hot water for only 20 seconds, drain and pat them dry and finally puree them with the olive oil – OR you just puree them with the olive oil. on the blanching: the blanching isn’t necessary, but it makes sure the green color stays and prevents bitterness (which can happen with basil, normally). in any way: add a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
finally, the finishing touches to the risotto: add the butter and mascarpone for creaminess, stir to combine. same with the parmesan. season only now with salt and pepper (since the parmesan adds a bit more saltiness, too, so only salt now). now for the twist: add the lemon juice (only shortly before serving). 
assemble everything: place the risotto in the middle of the plate, place the tomato branches and the haloumi skewer on top, drizzle with the basil oil and finally with a few drops of the lime oil (if available). serve & enjoy.
good night, everyone! i’ll sleep, i’ll sleep…
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