If I said I had a confession to make would you say,| “Uh oh, what’s she going to confess THIS time?” Ha! Nothing dramatic although it is kind of odd. I’ve NEVER cooked risotto before! I’m not sure why really because I love it in restaurants and at friends’ homes but it always seems to me to be something you ate somewhere other than home – like Yellow Fin Tuna. I made that last year for the first time and have had it many times since. So easy!
By adding spring onions, zucchini, mushroom and a little heat with red chile flakes you’ve got a scrumptious side dish or main. If you use the smaller tomatoes, they’re great as a snack, too. You’ll definitely want firm tomatoes (on the vine if possible) to ensure they don’t crumple under the heat. They’re also easier to cut and scoop.
Lots of recipes call to separate the seeds but to heck with that. I scoop out the pulp and remove the hard core and mash the rest.
I’ll skip my usual rant about fresh herbs because I ran out of parsley and oregano so was forced to use dried. I did use fresh basil and thyme though. Some good Parmesan is a must as well. You don’t want to go to the trouble to make this delectable dish and then ruin it with cheap cheese, right?
I will be making risotto often! I loved the ease of this dish and it’s yet another way to get that tomato superfood into your diet.
- 4 medium sized tomatoes
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup risotto rice
- 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 3/4 cup mushrooms, wiped and sliced
- 1 cup vegetable stock, (low-sodium, organic if possible)
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs – a combination of parsley, basil, oregano, chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- fresh thyme or basil for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Slice the tops off the tomatoes and set aside. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes with a teaspoon, but be careful not to cut through to the base. Chop the pulp and seeds. Toss the hard, central core.
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add garlic, sauteing for 2 minutes. Add rice, chile flakes, onions, zucchini and mushrooms, stirring over low heat for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the stock then stir in the fresh herbs, tomato pulp and seeds.
- Cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed – add extra stock if necessary.
- Turn off the heat, add Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and stir well.
- Put the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish and fill each one generously with the risotto. Replace tomato tops and bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes are tender. Cool for 5 minutes, then garnish with fresh thyme or basil.