As mini me gets older, I find our closest times are almost always in the kitchen, or at the kitchen table. As a young girl I dreamed of that mother-child connection, especially over a family meal. Having my girl gave me that long awaited opportunity.
I take every chance to spend time in the kitchen with her, teaching her a new culinary skill. Nothing makes me feel more like a woman than preparing a meal and passing along tradition.
Tomatoes, in all forms are one of our favorite summer treats. Roma, yellow, green, tomatillos, beef, cherry; you name it, we love them all. When I am not stewing and pressing tomatoes for our homemade sauce I use them as little baskets to hold a gluttonous treat. What better way to push the envelope than to nest a creamy risotto inside their walls.
Mini me has been learning a lot about grains, and obviously using an arborio was best for this recipe. We cooked it in our rice maker while sauteeing a shallot and a clove of garlic. We then added the rice to the pan. We carefully added some vegetable stock and a cup of fontina. From there we added sea salt to taste. Once it came to a slow boil, we let it simmer until most of the liquid is gone, and added a tablespoon of fresh cream.
Mini me then experimented with some Romano and we threw in 5 fresh torn basil leaves. We did a lot of tasting to make sure this was all going as planned! Toward the end, we hollowed out our tomatoes, salted the pulp, and crushed them in a bowl. We carefully put the risotto mixture ( along with some peas at the bottom) to the little tomato bowls!
We baked them at 350 for about 25 minutes. There are so many variations to this dish and I love it in all variations. Paired with a simple spinach salad, it is perfect on a hot summer day. Even better, place them carefully for a picnic with the ones you love and picture yourselves in Positano; smelling the ocean far off and wandering the bright markets.
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