With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I want to do something different. Last Valentine’s, I prepared baked figs with honey, vanilla, and yogurt, and the year before that, I crafted delectable Bakewell tarts. This year, I want a perfect Valentine’s dinner that should be simple to prepare, elegant to serve, and delicious to eat. In fact, I think that’s my cooking motto in general – and these baked stuffed tomatoes fit all three criteria!
Simple, because it’s a quick risotto stuffed into hollowed-out beef tomatoes. Elegant, because topped with ribbons of cheese and asparagus spears, the tomato looks like a pretty little package. Delicious, because it combines Italian flavors (and who doesn’t love those?!) with a touch of luxury in the asparagus and white wine.
I’ve made these a completely gluten-free and vegetarian dish. However, you could add meat, rice, or bread crumbs if you want to make the Italian stuffed tomato recipe with bread crumbs. There’s also very little washing up – because the last thing you want to be doing after the perfect, candle-lit dinner is facing a pile of pans.
To make your dinner more romantic, you can pair it with a glass of Bellini – the cocktail of love. Here is how to make roasted stuffed tomatoes:
Baked Stuffed Tomatoes
- 2 large beef tomatoes
- 120 g arborio risotto rice
- 75 ml vegetable stock
- 30 ml dry white wine
- 2 tsp cooking oil
- ⅓ an onion
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 baby bell pepper
- 50 g green beans
- 4 asparagus spears
- 20 g halloumi cheese You can use with cottage cheese or mozzarella
- 20 g cream cheese
- Dried oregano and black pepper to season
- Slice the tops off the beef tomatoes and hollow out seeds and flesh. Place on a baking tray and leave to one side. Keep the flesh for the risotto.
- Put the cooking oil in a saucepan and put over a medium heat.
- Finely chop the onion and add to the pan with the crushed garlic.
- Cook gently until softened and the onion is translucent. Add the rice and stir until well-mixed. Add the white wine and allow to boil down to a simmer.
- Add a ladleful of stock at a time, covering pan and allowing the rice to absorb each ladle of stock before adding the next.
- Dice the bell pepper and green beans; trim asparagus to short spears and dice the remaining stem. Add the chopped veg, except asparagus heads, to the pan with the final ladleful of stock, along with the tomato flesh. Stir constantly until the stock has been absorbed.
- Stir in the cream cheese; add dried oregano and black pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 180oC.
- Spoon the risotto into the tomatoes.
- Slice the halloumi into thin ribbons and lay across the top. Finish with two asparagus spears on each tomato.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until the very top is beginning to crisp.
- Serve straight away, with a salad garnish if desired.
- Baked tuna stuffed tomatoes recipe (filling with tuna)
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- Grounded beef stuffed tomatoes (filling with grounded beef)