Risotto-Stuffed Tomatoes

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!

By Published On: August 7th, 201742 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

42 Comments

  1. Travel Gourmet August 7, 2017 at 6:24 AM - Reply

    Great recipe. I love tomatoes, stuffed vegetables and risotto so I’d be sure to love this! I make risotto a lot and often have some left over so I’ll remember this next time.

    • chef mimi August 7, 2017 at 6:50 AM - Reply

      Exactly! I don’t know why I haven’t thought of this already !

  2. thecompletebook August 7, 2017 at 7:12 AM - Reply

    What a fabulous idea as a side dish Mimi.
    Have a happy day.
    :-) Mandy xo

  3. Gerlinde @ Sunnycovechef August 7, 2017 at 8:08 AM - Reply

    I enjoy eating stuffed tomatoes and I like the idea of stuffing them with risotto. I don’t make risotto enough to appreciate the wonderful flavors when cooked correctly.

    • chef mimi August 7, 2017 at 8:16 AM - Reply

      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!

  4. Healthy World Cuisine August 7, 2017 at 8:04 PM - Reply

    Reserving the pulp and using it as part of the liquid to cook with is genius! That close up photo looks so delicious!

    • chef mimi August 7, 2017 at 8:09 PM - Reply

      Thank you Bobbi! I knew it would be good because I’ve used fresh tomatoes in risotto before. Subtle flavor and color.

  5. ozfoodhunter August 7, 2017 at 11:38 PM - Reply

    Wow! The presentation of Risotto-Stuffed Tomatoes are absolutely eye tracking; full of flavours, Thanks a lot for sharing such a healthy side dish recipe.

  6. Eha August 8, 2017 at 12:42 AM - Reply

    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 . . .

  7. Culinary Flavors August 8, 2017 at 3:11 AM - Reply

    These stuffed tomatoes are perfect! In Greece we call them Gemista and stuff them with either rice and raisins or ground beef and rice!

    • chef mimi August 8, 2017 at 7:14 AM - Reply

      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!

  8. dishinwithdidi August 8, 2017 at 4:11 AM - Reply

    Mimi, I just drooled! I am with you, I would just have two and not worry about having them as a side!

  9. Cocoa & Lavender August 8, 2017 at 9:20 AM - Reply

    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?

    • chef mimi August 8, 2017 at 2:51 PM - Reply

      Probably not! That’s why I made risotto right before stuffing and baking the tomatoes!

  10. FrugalHausfrau August 8, 2017 at 10:07 PM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi August 9, 2017 at 6:55 AM - Reply

      That’s sweet of you. I’ve always dehydrated tomatoes, but that’s just the grape/cherry variety. Good luck with all of those!

      • FrugalHausfrau August 10, 2017 at 2:59 PM

        I’ve oven roasted and made tomato jam and tomato marmalade. I’m not into big canning sessions but like to do a few “fun” small batch things. :)

  11. kitchenriffs August 9, 2017 at 11:15 AM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi August 9, 2017 at 11:44 AM - Reply

      I don’t crave meat, I crave side dishes. So this was a perfect meal for me!

  12. Loretta August 9, 2017 at 12:19 PM - Reply

    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 :)

    • chef mimi August 9, 2017 at 3:56 PM - Reply

      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.

  13. cookingwithauntjuju.com August 10, 2017 at 6:12 AM - Reply

    Perfect recipe to use some of the ripe tomatoes sitting on my counter. I sometimes stuff peppers but never did it with tomatoes. We love risotto!

  14. Frank Fariello August 10, 2017 at 7:41 AM - Reply

    Looks delicious! Rice-filled tomatoes are a Roman favorite, and I can imagine how richly flavorful using risotto would make them.

  15. Conor Bofin August 10, 2017 at 2:07 PM - Reply

    Beautiful presentation Mimi. The risotto puts me in mind of looming Autumn. Looking forward to those warm days.

  16. Conor Bofin August 10, 2017 at 2:08 PM - Reply

    And cool nights etc…

    • chef mimi August 14, 2017 at 10:12 AM - Reply

      Just because the day on the calendar says FALL, it is another month or so before the weather cools. So I must be very patient.

  17. Jack & Barbra Donachy August 11, 2017 at 12:17 AM - Reply

    Such a good idea… Love the presentation!

  18. indianeskitchen August 11, 2017 at 12:52 AM - Reply

    This looks very good! Risotto is one thing I have never tried to make.

    • chef mimi August 11, 2017 at 6:44 AM - Reply

      It’s really remarkable!

      • indianeskitchen August 11, 2017 at 10:53 AM

        I’ll get brave one of these days…lol I think Gordon Ramsey put the fear in me..hahahaha

  19. Lisa @ cheergerm August 11, 2017 at 8:31 PM - Reply

    I am a big fan of stuffed veggies Mimi, these look great.

    • chef mimi August 11, 2017 at 8:39 PM - Reply

      Thanks – they were truly spectacular!

  20. Elena Bourke August 14, 2017 at 12:29 PM - Reply

    All looks luscious and I will shop for ingredients to that divine sandwich today ! Thanks, Mimi

  21. Jeff the Chef August 16, 2017 at 7:43 PM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi August 16, 2017 at 7:49 PM - Reply

      I know!!! That’s what’s so exciting. Another one of those “duh” discoveries. So many options. Honeymoon?

  22. Jeff the Chef August 21, 2017 at 6:20 PM - Reply

    Hawaii, but we’re waiting until winter.

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