With Spring in the air, and the weather warm and bright, I want food that suits the mood. This recipe is a great vegetarian meal on its own, but can also be served as a succu-licious side to almost anything. And the colours and freshness of the ingredients will have even the birds singing your praises!
Preheat grill to high, 550°F.
Grill sliced onion and red pepper for 5 to 6 minutes per side, until lightly charred and tender.
Remove from grill and allow to cool.
Dice grill-roasted onion and pepper and set aside.
In a heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until they are tender.
Add the rice and the saffron. Stir well for about 1 minute to coat all the grains of rice in butter.
Add the Pinot Grigio, stirring continuously, until most of the wine is absorbed.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring slowly and constantly allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before each addition. Keep stirring until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is creamy and tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer risotto to a large bowl. Gently stir in the Parmesan cheese, pearl bocconcini, fresh herbs, green onions, green peas and reserved grill-roasted onion and red pepper. Adjust seasoning if required. Set aside.
Using a sharp knife, cut off the top of the tomato, approximately ¼ inch down from the top. Hollow out the tomato to make room for the risotto stuffing. (You may also need to cut a small portion of the tomato on the bottom so that the tomato will stand upright.)
Using a small spoon, stuff each hollowed-out tomato with the cooled Risotto Milanese.
Preheat grill to medium, 350–450°F.
Place stuffed tomatoes on soaked grilling planks, six tomatoes per plank. Place plank on grill and close lid. Plank-grill the stuffed tomatoes for 30 to 45 minutes, until the rice stuffing is hot, the tomatoes are lightly charred and the skin is blistered.
While the tomatoes are plank-grilling, brush the Calabrese baguette with olive oil.
Grill, cut-side down, until golden brown and crisp.
Remove bread from grill and rub liberally with a clove of fresh garlic. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Assemble The Burger
Toasted Calabrese baguette, Risotto Milanese-Stuffed Tomato Burger, and top with chopped fresh basil.
So, you obviously do not need the baguette if you are serving this as a side dish, but the bread does complete the meal if you are serving vegetarian. I hope you enjoy this taste of summer as much as I do.