Monday, 3 May 2010

Risotto Stuffed Beef Tomatoes

Of course now that I've said that I don't like stuffed vegetables I remembered another dish that I like, that is of course, exactly that.  As a vegetarian when eating out, nine times out of ten there will be one or two vegetarian dishes - one of which will be some sort of risotto.  Perhaps it is this narrowmindedness of what vegetarian food is that has made me avoid most risotto's.  Whenever I have had to try them (due to no other vegetarian option) they have been boring.  

When I finally decided to try cooking it at home I felt that it needed something more - and that something was a large, ripe and juicy, beef tomato.  For some reason, this makes it feel like more of a balanced meal to me.  The risotto itself is delicious, but I could only really ever see it as a side dish - but somehow stuffed in a large tomato just makes it a proper meal.

Following the general idea of a recipe for spring vegetable risotto, I combined it with the idea of stuffing a tomato with risotto which I had seen in several places.

Risotto Stuffed Tomatoes
serves 4 as starter
4 large beef tomato
100 g risotto rice (arborio)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
small onion - finely chopped
1 large garlic clove - finely minced
50 mL white wine
40 g soy or edamame or broad beans* (or a mix of whatever you have)
60 g peas*
300 mL warm vegetable stock -you may need more or less than this depending on your rice
50 g parmesan - grated
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 190 C/ 375 F.  Parboil risotto rice for 6 minutes.  Drain rice, then distribute on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Cut the tops off of the tomatoes and scoop out the inner flesh.  Add the juice from the tomatoes to the stock and chop up the flesh from the inner tomato.  In a medium saucepan heat the oil and butter, add the onion and gently fry for a couple minutes.  Add minced garlic and gently fry for a further couple minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.  Add in partly cooked rice, then add white wine and reduce until liquid is halved.  

Add in a ladle of stock and heat very gently until absorbed.  Continue adding a ladle of stock at a time until the rice is al dente (about 10 minutes).  Add in the beans and peas, chopped tomato flesh, parmesan and salt & pepper to taste.  The rice should have a bit of moisture, so if it's too dry add a bit more stock.  Fill the tomatoes with the risotto and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tomato is tender.

*I used frozen, which I took out of the freezer right before I started, then added to the cooked rice and warmed through.

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