Sunday, 24 May 2015

Tomato and Basil Risotto for Sunrise Senior Living

Readers, tonight’s post is a little different.

Recently I was approached by Sunrise Senior Living’s UK PR team about working on a recipe for them.   Sunrise Senior Living offers supported living for the elderly, particularly focused on older people with dementia.

This is a subject close to my heart – having seen a close relative go from an able elderly gentleman, to a frail old man who no longer knew who he was, I’ve seen first-hand the effects of dementia.  It’s an illness to be taken seriously – not just a stereotypical view of “granny losing her marbles”.   It affects the whole family, puts strain on relationships and causes frustration among those who can’t understand why this person isn’t the same any more.

Today Sunrise operates 27 communities in England and Wales,  with more in the USA and Canada, which offer the elderly people a chance to grow into their senior years in a supportive environment.  Those in good health have the opportunity to lead an independent life, with help when they need it and those with more complex health needs, can receive specialist care.

Sunrise place an importance on good food and nutrition for the elderly – offering three square meals a day, either for communal dining, or in a resident’s own space.  Snacks are available too!  Sunrise got in touch with me, to create one of their recipes from the website – to show the great dishes the chefs prepare for residents.

I’ve chosen to make a Tomato and Basil Risotto – but there are plenty more available.

This recipe serves 4 and with traditional flavours,  elderly relatives would enjoy it and find it easy to eat too.

Tomato & Basil Risotto

tomato & basil risotto

20g salted butter 10ml olive oil 3 tomatoes – cored, seeded and diced
¼ Spanish onion – diced
½ garlic clove – crushed
220g Arborio rice
400ml vegetable stock
20ml double cream
30g fresh basil – chopped
70g goats cheese – sliced
Pinch of ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
Roasted vegetables (optional):
100g butternut squash – diced and roasted
½ red pepper – diced and roasted


  1. Heat the oil over a moderate heat and add the onion as well as garlic to the pan. Sauté until the onion softens. Then add the tomatoes and seasoning. Sauté for a further 3-4 minutes.
    Getting the veg on!
  2. Add the rice, mix thoroughly and sauté for 3-4 minutes. You can add the optional roasted vegetables at this stage.
  3. Gradually add the vegetable stock, stirring until all the liquid is absorbed.
    Slowly does it...
  4. Continue stirring until the rice is tender and creamy but still firm, then add the butter and cream.
  5. To serve, top with basil and cheese.  I used Parmesan rather than goats cheese and it was delicious!
    tomato and basil risotto
    My finished dish

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