Tomato Art Festival 2019

August is here which means East Nashville’s celebration of all things TOMATO. As a hands-on cooking studio located in East Nashville, Cooking Up offered a free class to anyone interested during the allotted time at the Cooking Stage. Three people jumped at the chance: Sam, Alyssa & Bridget

Together, we made Tomato Risotto and Tomato Salad with a Warm Basil Vinaigrette.

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For the Risotto

1 cup arborio rice

1 box vegetable broth, chicken can be used as well

1 medium to large onion diced small

2-3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced

1 T tomato paste

1 pound cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup parmesan cheese shredded

1 T butter

Heat broth in a stock pot at a simmer.

In a large, deep skillet heat olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan; add onions & garlic, cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes; add tomato paste, stir to combine thoroughly; add tomatoes & cook until they start to burst, about 5 minutes; add rice and mix well; begin adding broth a ladle full at a time, stir the rice frequently, & continue adding broth until the rice is cooked (it should be tender to the touch, al dente) about 15 minutes; add parmesan cheese & butter; taste to adjust seasonings. Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh grated black pepper & a little more cheese.

Options: Add mushrooms instead, place in pot at the same place as the tomatoes; add spinch, with or without tomatoes & add with butter & cheese; think about any other vegetables you enjoy, if they take some time to cook, add them at the same point as the tomatoes, if they are easy cooking add at the end; think of combinations as well

For those who are vegan, shredded vegan parmesan ‘cheese’ can be used.

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Tomato Salad with Warm Basil Vinaigrette

slice & chop a variety of tomatoes, place in a collendar & sprinkle with salt

slice 1-2 shallots, can use red onions, green onions or sweet onions as well

slice finely 2-3 garlic cloves

Heat oil in a skillet, add shallots & garlic, cook until shallots are soft, about 3-4 minutes; add red pepper flakes, amount depends on how much heat is wanted in the salad; remove from heat & add basil leaves, about 1-2 cups; place tomatoes in a large shallow bowl, mix in about 1-2 T of red wine vinegar & the warm shallot mixture; taste & adjust seasonings

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