Asiago, Lemon and Spinach Risotto with Frizzled Basil and Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Olivelle Italian Risotto is a symphony of flavor with the asiago cheese, zesty lemon, and earthy sweet spinach. Simply add your wine and stock and you are on your way to an easy and heavenly meal. Make this a hearty dinner with the addition of chicken, fish or pork and some grilled veggies. Locally, Olivelle ristotto (olive oils, aged balsamic vinegars, herb and spice blends + more) are available locally (Roanoke, Virginia) at Wine Gourmet or on-line:

I especially love the special garnish “Frizzled Basil” that I added to my risotto recipe – it sits up so pretty on the top of each dish of risotto and then it crumbles to become a flavorful addition to the risotto.

I serve my risotto with oven roasted cherry tomatoes that give the dish a pop of color and summery tomato flavor.

Here’s a hint for measuring freshly ground peppercorns: grind peppercorns into a small bowl. “Eyeball” about how much you will need and then measure the pepper with a measuring spoon from the bowl. If you have a little pepper left over in the bowl, you can add it to the recipe or save it for a future recipe.

Asiago Lemon and Spinach Risotto with Frizzled Basil and Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Course Side Dish
Servings 2 servings


  • 10 ounces cherry tomatoes yellow and red cherry tomatoes add color to this dish
  • 2 tablespoons Olivelle Sicilian Lemon Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Olivelle Citrus Seasoning Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground Olivelle Rainbow Peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Olivelle Sicilian Lemon Olive Oil
  • 1 leek, white part only, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup Olivelle Asiago, Lemon and Spinach Risotto
  • 1/2 cup sparkling wine, Prosecco or Cava dry white wine may be substituted
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Olivelle olive oil
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Olivelle olive oil for dizzling


  • Warm oven-safe pasta bowls in a very low oven to warm while preparing risotto.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place lemon olive oil in a small ceramic baking pan.
  • Place cherry tomatoes in baking pan and stir to cover with lemon olive oil.
  • Sprinkle cherry tomatoes with citrus seasoning salt, ground rainbow peppercorns and sugar. Stir to coat cherry tomatoes with seasonings.
  • Bake for 10 minutes in 425 degree Fahrenheit. Remove from oven, stir gently to coat cherry tomatoes with seasoned oil.
  • Make the frizzled basil leaf garnish: Place 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small frying pan. Heat over medium low heat until the oil begins to sizzle. Place basil leaves flat in the oil (use 2 batches if needed to make sure the basil leaves lay flat). Fry basil leaves gently, turning once. The basil leaves will fry quickly, so watch carefully so they do not burn. Place frizzled basil leaves on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  • Place 3 tablespoons lemon olive oil in large frying pan. Heat over medium low heat until oil begins to sizzle. Add leeks and stir. Cook leeks until they just begin to turn translucent.
  • Reduce heat to low and add risotto. Stir and cook for about one minute.
  • Add chicken stock, one cup at a time, stirring, until the stock is absorbed into the risotto. Add sparkling wine and stir. Continue to cook and stir until the wine is absorbed into the risotto and the risotto is tender but still has a bite (al dente) about 20 minutes.
  • Add water to risotto, stir and cook until the water is absorbed by the risotto. Add cream and stir, continuing to cook and stir until the cream is incorporated into the risotto.
  • To serve: place risotto in warmed pasta bowls. Place roasted cherry tomatoes on one side of the risotto. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with lemon olive oil. Top with frizzled basil leaves sitting up on the top of the risotto.

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