Look at this comfort food deliciousness!! After a little hiatus so I could do my trial run of Blind Date Books (which was so successful!!), I’m excited to share my first February recipe. This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith was my Book of the Month pick a few months ago, so I was really glad to finally catch up to it and pair it with one my favorite comfort recipes.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Stars
Genre: Literary Fiction
One sentence synopsis: A powerful story of two strangers coming together for one weekend in the wake of tragedy.
What I enjoyed about this book is the emphasis on kindness. The whole book is a reminder to look outside of yourself and help those in need. That’s a very powerful message! The relationship between Tallie and Emmett is so unique. It’s not quite doctor/patient, but it walks that line and blurs their friendship. This also really spoke to the True Crime part of my heart. It’s a great mix of mystery and contemporary fiction.
Vegan Tomato Risotto Recipe
I chose this recipe because Emmett is a great cook in the book and food is a big part of his identity. It also rains throughout the book and this hot risotto will hit the spot.
- Serves: 4
- Prep time: 5 mins
- Cook time: 45 mins
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 6 tomatoes, (I use Roma)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup risotto rice
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Slice the tomatoes into chunks. Add them to a blender. Blend the tomatoes until they are pure liquid!
- In a pot over medium heat, add the vegetable broth and tomato puree. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer on the lowest setting possible.
- In a separate pot over medium heat, add the oil. Then add the onions. Mix until translucent, about 3-5 mins.
- Add the garlic and spices. Mix with the onions for 30 seconds.
- Then add the rice. Mix the rice until it is all coated in oil- about 1 minute.
- Add the wine. Stir until the wine has cooked down, about 3-5 minutes.
- Once the wine has evaporated, begin to ladle in the tomato broth. Scoop one ladle at a time. Keep stirring until the rice absorbs the liquid. Once absorbed, add another ladleful and repeat the process. Keep stirring!!
- Repeat until broth is gone and rice is cooked.
- Season with salt and pepper, adding more spices if needed.
- Serve with your favorite roasted veggies!