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Risotto-Stuffed Tomatoes

Here is an excellent use for leftover risotto in summertime when tomatoes are at their best. You can use other tender fresh herbs, such as summer savory, mint or tarragon, in place of the basil and oregano.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ripe but firm medium tomatoes 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1 cup leftover risotto alla milanese or other plain risotto, at room temperature (see related recipes at left) 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil 
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh oregano 
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley 
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 300°F. Lightly oil a shallow 8-inch square or round baking dish. Place a wire rack on a large flat plate or baking sheet.

Cut a thin slice off the top of each tomato. Using a small spoon, carefully scoop out the pulp and seeds, leaving walls thick enough for the tomato to hold its shape. Lightly salt the inside of each tomato, then invert the tomatoes on the prepared rack to drain for 5 to 10 minutes.

In a bowl, stir together the risotto, cheese, basil, oregano, parsley and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the tomatoes with the rice mixture, dividing it evenly.

Arrange the tomatoes in the prepared dish. Bake until they have softened and the tops are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a platter or individual plates and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007).