Roasted Tomato, Saffron and Mozzarella Risotto Layer Cake

20 Aug

I roasted off another batch of my favourite slow roasted tomatoes yesterday and wanted to use them in something lovely for dinner. I found a recipe for a grilled vegetable saffron risotto cake that fit the bill perfectly.

In the original version they layer it with grilled aubergine, courgette and roasted peppers which I will definitely try next time. But I had all these sweet roasted tomatoes hanging about and I was hungry, so I just used them. I also added some of my sundried tomatoes for extra tomato intensity.

Roasted Tomato, Saffron & Mozzarella Risotto Layer Cake

Serves 4-6, vegetarian, gluten-free. Adapted from  Jane Baxter, The Guardian

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 big pinch saffron
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 big pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 20 slow roasted tomato halves, see recipe here
  • 2 or 3 tbsp finely chopped sundried tomatoes plus 8 strips for layers
  • 300 gr risotto rice (I used brown rice, it takes longer to cook and more stock)
  • salt & black pepper
  • a splash of white wine/vermouth
  • 1 – 1 1/2 litres veg stock
  • a bunch fresh basil leaves, 1/2 finely shredded 1/2 left whole
  • 125 gr ball mozzarella, sliced in 5mm thick ovals
  • a handful of finely grated Manchego/Parmesan
  • rocket, olive oil & balsamic vinegar to serve

Put the veg stock in small pan, over a medium-low heat to heat up while you are cooking.

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and cook the onion and saffron with a pinch of salt for 5 -6 minutes until softened. Then add the fennel seeds, garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a further 2 minutes. Now add 12 of the roasted tomato halves and any roasting juices, the chopped sun-dried tomatoes and the rice. Cook at a fast simmer, stirring for about 2 minutes, season generously with salt & pepper & splash in the wine.

Add the hot stock to the rice a ladleful at a time over a medium heat, adding the next ladleful when the previous one has all been absorbed. Continue like this until most of the stock is used up (1 litre for risotto rice – 1 1/2 for brown rice), taste the rice and see if it is cooked. It should still have a bit of bite to it. Season again, add in the finely shredded basil, stir and taste. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. I didn’t leave it to cool very long, I was hungry.

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line the base of a terrine or loaf tin with baking parchment and oil/butter the sides. Take 1/3 of the cooled rice and press it into the bottom of the mould evenly. Top with 4 of the remaining roasted tomatoes in a line along the centre of the rice then top those with a half of the mozzarella slices, the a line of sun-dried tomato strips, then with a line of basil leaves. Sprinkle over half the grated cheese.

Top with another 1/3 rice, press down evenly and add toppings as before. Then finish off with the final layer of rice and press down evenly. Cook in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until golden brown on top.

To serve, run a knife around the edge of the cake and turn it out onto a serving plate. Use a serrated bread knife to cut into generous slices and serve with a rocket salad dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and black pepper.

This is equally good served hot or cold and would be perfect for a summer picnic or buffet table.

 I’m having this cold for my lunch now, have a great weekend!

 Happy Birthday Dad,

Love You xxx

22 Responses to “Roasted Tomato, Saffron and Mozzarella Risotto Layer Cake”

  1. Maris (in Good Taste) August 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    This is so creative and such a healthy dish. Happy Birthday to your dad!

  2. chicaandaluza August 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    This looks so lovely. My mum makes a very similar “celebration” dish which my southern Italian aunties taught her. Can´t remember the name of it now though! Think it also had things like hard boiled egg in it. Thanks for the link to the sun dried tomatoes (finished another batch this week). And Happy Birthday to your Dad 🙂

  3. tiffany August 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    Hola Menina (friend in Brazilian Portuguese!)!!! This layer cake looks great. The sweet tomatoes and fragrant saffron sounds amazing! And happy birthday to your dad! SUCH a cute picture! HUGS!

  4. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide August 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    This is gorgeous. I’ve never made risotto this way and really want too now.

  5. Beth Michelle August 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    This is so creative! Looks amazing too! Happy Birthday to your Dad!!

  6. Clarkie @ Beloved Green August 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    Wow, this looks gorgeous! So good.

  7. Liz August 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Wow, besides looking delicious, this is beautiful!

  8. Susan August 20, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    What a beautiful layered summer dish! Perfect!

  9. frugalfeeding August 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    OH wow, very creative. I love the look of it. Must make something like this. I only ever use loaf tins for cakes, I really need to broaden their scope!

  10. Irma August 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    Qué bueno! 😉

  11. Kim Bee August 21, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    What a wonderful recipe. Happy Birthday to your Dad!

  12. TasteFood August 21, 2011 at 4:13 am #

    I love this recipe – it’s so creative.

  13. luvnspoonfuls August 21, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    Looks so delicious…I was just thinking of making some rice timbales, but had never thought of making a loaf! Beautiful photos and recipe…

  14. Ayako Mathies August 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Looks soooo good and I can almost smell it!

  15. Kate@Diethood August 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Um…YUM! It looks gorgeous too, almost too good to eat…. well, almost! 🙂

  16. Isabelle @ Crumb August 21, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    Simply gorgeous! We have quite a few friends who have become vegetarian in the past few years, and I’m always in need of fancy vegetarian dishes I can make for dinner parties and pot lucks… and this one looks like a surefire hit!
    I need to get myself a big pile of tomatoes before the harvest is over so I can make a big batch of roasted tomatoes. Yum.

  17. Ganga108 August 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    Beautiful. Thanks for visiting my blog, because I am so excited to find yours. Your site is simply beautiful and your food wondrous. To top it off, its all vegetarian food! I could not be happier. 🙂

  18. happywhennothungry August 22, 2011 at 2:09 am #

    What a beautiful recipe. I love all the flavors too!

  19. Kita August 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    I have never seen/heard of/tasted a risotto layer cake before but I am not drooling at this point over the screen and don’t know how to fix it! This looks insanely delicious.

    Happy birthday to your dad as well 🙂

  20. Olivia August 23, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    This looks so delicious! I have leftover saffron I have been meaning to use, will definitely have to try this!

  21. kellie @ foodtoglow August 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    It looks worth all of the effort that goes into it – beautiful, enticing photos as usual. Kind of like a healthy arancini. I love Manchego in anything, too. Well done, Natalie, and I hope your Dad had a wonderful day.

  22. egb August 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    Looks lovely! Yum!

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