Risotto Stuffed Tomatoes

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by Francesca Patterson

Local tomatoes are finally here! Here’s a great dish that mom would love for Mother’s Day, and it’s effortless to execute for those who don’t cook much if mom is usually the one in charge of dinner. One of my favorite recipes to make with juicy, in-season tomatoes is these risotto stuffed tomatoes that are so nostalgic from my childhood. My mom brought this dish home with her from her years when we lived in Italy, and the flavor is so foolproof but straightforward. The taste from the meat of the tomato adds a perfect sauce to the risotto rice as it cooks, making each bite one to savor. This is an easy recipe to throw in the oven while making whatever protein or salad you plan to have with it. As what seems to be a pattern with my cooking style, this dish doubles as fantastic cold leftovers the next day.
 

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 large red tomatoes, approximately the same size 
  • Arborio rice 
  • 1 large (or 4 small) cloves of garlic (diced) 
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil 
  • salt
  • olive oil

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 

  2. Slice off the top of the tomatoes and spoon out the insides, being careful to not tear through the skin with your spoon. The tomato should still have about a 1/4 inch of skin around it to create a bowl. Set the tomato pulp aside in a bowl. Sprinkle olive oil and salt on top and inside of the tomatoes. 

  3. Food process tomato pulp with basil, garlic, and about a tbsp more olive oil until mixture is completely smooth.

  4. Depending on how much purée you make, add half cup Arborio rice to a cup of purée. Add in a dash of salt. Fill the tomatoes with this mixture of rice and purée, then place the tops of the tomatoes back on. 

  5. Position in Small dutch oven or baking dish, add a half cup of water. Tinfoil the top and/or cover if possible. 

  6. Bake for 1 hour, and serve using a spatula to lift tomatoes out of the dish. 

 

 
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