It’s nearly Halloween, but we’ve had only one frost here in Chicagoland; so I still have a few tomatoes hanging onto their vines in the ‘garden’. (The tomato patch was actually just a strip of wasted space between our driveway and the neighbor’s fence. It worked great!) So, while tomatoes are reaching the very, very end of their season, I still had a few to use up – yet with the chilly temps, I wanted something warm and comforting. Flipping through the fantastic family-friendly cookbook Cooking Light Real Family Food by Amanda Haas, I found the perfect recipe: Tomato-Basil Risotto.
This dish containing ‘creamy’ rice, cheesy goodness, fresh basil and tomatoes is a shoe-in in terms of kid-friendliness. While being a fairly healthy dish (all the recipes in this book qualify as fairly healthy,) as a dietitian I had to add more veggies by serving up a scoop of risotto in a whole tomato. I told my kids we were having a ‘fancy dinner.’ They ate it up – literally.
Oh, and don’t be scared off by the classic risotto preparation of adding chicken broth by the cup-full, and stirring after each addition. This recipe takes less than 20 minutes in the stirring department – and it easily takes me 20 minutes to get my three kids focused on the tasks of washing their hands, setting the table, remembering to distribute napkins, etc.