This recipe is really easy, and I love the textures. Served with a salad, or some roasted or baked vegetables, it is a delicious meal.
Stuffed vegetables went out with the Ark, but are coming back now. The rice is cooked in the juice and internal flesh of the tomatoes which adds a wonderful taste to the rice.
A Social Photographer once quipped “Life is too short to stuff tomatoes.” I am not sure what she was referring to, but I happen to like stuffed tomatoes.
Pomodori con Riso – Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice
Source : inspired by Twelve: A Tuscan Cookbook
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
Serves: 3 – 6 people, depending how you use it
6 ripe round tomatoes, medium sized
5 Tblspns olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
250g long-grain rice (e.g. basmati)
1 cup water
1 stalk celery
4 Tblspn grated parmesan cheese
12 basil leaves or sprig of rosemary
Preheat the oven to 180C. Slice the tops off of the tomatoes and set aside. Carefully, scoop out the flesh of the tomatoes with a spoon, taking care not to break the tomato shells.
Put the tomato shells into a baking dish, without overlapping and leaving a little space between. Using a little salt, season inside and outside the shells.
Puree the tomato flesh with a stick blender or in a blender.
Heat 2 Tblspns of the oil in a small saucepan with the garlic. Add the rice and the celery, and stir in the oil for a minute. Add half a cup of water and the tomato puree and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
Remove from the heat, add the parmesan and the basil and stir through gently.
Fill the tomato shells with the mixture. The rice will swell a little during cooking so do not overfill the tomatoes. Replace the tomato tops and splash with a little more oil. If desired, sprinkle the tops of the tomatoes with breadcrumbs.
Add the remaining half cup of water to the oven dish. Cook in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, until the rice is cooked, most of the liquid has been absorbed, and the outside of the tomatoes are lightly and gorgeously golden.
Replace the water with some dry white wine.
Add some autumnal vegetables to the dish as it baked. Some large green onions. Strips of long capsicum which was red and green. A couple of garlic cloves. A sprig of rosemary.
Drizzle home made garlic oil over the tomatoes before they bake.