Risotto-Stuffed Tomatoes

42 Comments

Recently I was browsing through a little cookbook I’d been gifted, Risotto, published by Williams-Sonoma.

It’s a sweet, unassuming cookbook, only 119 pages, published in 2002. The first chapter covers classic risottos, and following chapters discuss vegetable, meat, seafood, and even dessert risottos. It’s a great cookbook, especially if you’re a risotto virgin.

For me, risotto has never been a big deal. The main reason is that I’ve never been fearful of cooking. It’s not because I’m fearless, it’s because I was naïve!

When I began cooking regularly 40 years ago, I had no idea that certain recipes might be complicated or challenging. I just dove in head first and started learning and cooking.

Not to say that risotto is hard to make, because it isn’t. But yes, you have to give it some attention. And it involves standing at the stove for about an hour.

I know “quick and easy” meals will always be popular, but anyone can make an outstanding and satisfying dish like this mushroom risotto.

In this W-S cookbook I saw a recipe for baked risotto-stuffed tomatoes, and with my ripe garden tomatoes and herbs, I knew that this would be a really nice side dish for some grilled chicken, white fish, or even steak.

And, you can even use leftover risotto for this dish, instead of making risotto first.

Risotto-Stuffed Tomatoes
Slightly Adapted

6 ripe but firm tomatoes, about 8 ounces each
Salt
Risotto, freshly prepared or leftover
1/4 cup fine dried bread crumbs
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
Chopped fresh parsley
Chopped fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8″ baking dish.

Cut the top off each tomato. With a small spoon, carefully scoop out the insides, leaving walls thick enough for the tomato to hold its shape.

Reserve the pulp.

Salt the inside of each tomato and turn them upside down on paper towels to drain for 5 minutes.

In a food processor, purée the tomato pulp until smooth. I used the processed pulp as part of my risotto liquid, and seasoned the risotto with dried sweet basil, salt, and white pepper.

The tomato purée added a lovely peachy hue to the risotto.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and garlic; set aside.

Put the tomatoes in the prepared dish and fill the tomatoes with the risotto, patting it down.

Cover the dish with foil and bake until the tomatoes are softened, about 25-30 minutes.

Remove the foil, and top the tomatoes with the bread crumb mixture.

Turn on the broiler and place the tomatoes 4″ from the heat source. Broil until the tops are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.

Serve at once.

I sprinkled chopped parsley and a chiffonade of basil over the top of these stuffed tomatoes.

Cutting open a tomato was a delight, with the risotto’s fragrance emanating from inside.

Just a little salt and some cayenne pepper… or not.

This was perfection. And just to make sure the risotto-stuffed tomato was really good, I had a second one. But they would make a lovely side dish!

42 thoughts on “Risotto-Stuffed Tomatoes

    • I think it’s more about texture. The flavors are all about what you add to it, whether it be the wine/broth/butter or pesto or pumpkin. I just love playing with risotto!

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  1. Have ‘fought thru’ big computer problems to say I adore both stiffed vegetables and making risotto, which methinks is the most wonderful ‘excuse’ to go into a relaxation mode. Hmm – put them together: have not, I believe, but what a fabulous idea . . .

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    • Yes, like dolmada filling. I’ve had that before and it’s incredible. But the more subtle risotto filling is also good, and a great way to use any leftover risotto. I love Greek food!

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  2. These look wonderful. The big questions is this: after making the risotto, could I stop myself from eating it all in order to stuff the tomatoes?

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  3. What a great idea! I’ll have to pin because my Dad & I just counted our tomatoes – 67 green ones. I don’t know what we’re going to do because they’re all gonna probably come at once. We’ve only had 10 ripe ones so far!

    My mom used to stuff tomatoes raw with something or other but I can’t get over how good this looks. That one pic with the slight peeling – you should put that on foodgawker!

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  4. Tomatoes are so good at the moment, I can’t get enough of them. This is a wonderful dish — so full of flavor. Great starter. Or, as you suggest, serve two for a main. Thanks!

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  5. Oh wow I’m loving this especially since I’m craving more vegetarian meals lately. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never tried making risotto, but your mushroom risotto does look v. appetizing. I’ve made stuffed tomatoes with ground turkey before and use the insides to make a tomato pilaf. I would love to try it with the risotto :)

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    • Risotto is popular for one reason – it’s really good! And it’s really unique. Baked tomatoes filled with rice-meat mixtures are good, too, but the risotto-stuffed tomatoes are a bit classier.

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  6. What a fantastic idea! And beautiful photos. I agree that you surely could pair it with so many things, but I think I’d have it all on its own for a light lunch. And risotto is so versatile, you could take this in many, many directions.

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