Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

by Meri on April 10, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not quite tomato season yet, but I wanted to make these for my parents while they are still in town. It is one of my favorites! While this recipe isn’t as simple as steaming some veggies or throwing together a salad, it does offer both a vegetable and grain taking care of most of your meal so it still can be considered a time-saver in the kitchen. I served this with lemon baked tilapia and it was a filling meal!

For entertaining a small crowd this recipe makes a great presentation and offers a bright, fresh garden taste. As far as kid-friendly, the presentation with the little tomato lids definitely catches their attention and all of my picky eaters dug in and tried it out. I think they may have enjoyed the excavating part the most, but heck…they tried it out and I’m always happy for them to explore new foods. I did omit the wine since I was serving it to toddlers. To add a little moisture at the end you can replace the wine with a little chicken or vegetable stock or squeeze some lemon on them before serving.

I always suggest starting with a base recipe and make changes to adapt to your family and personal preferences. I’ve tried this recipe many ways: omitting the wine, replaced the basil for cilantro or parsley, and used goat cheese in place of the Parmesan (decrease total amount of cheese if adding a strong flavor like goat cheese). Next, I’m thinking of changing up the grain and trying bulgur wheat or quinoa. Use your favorite flavors with this recipe! You really can’t mess it up.

You can try this recipe year-round, but for best results hold onto this recipe when you have really fresh local tomatoes with tons of flavors. You can also substitute heirloom tomatoes for a more rustic look! They make a really beautiful presentation.

Ingredients:

6 medium tomatoes

1 cup white rice

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup plus 1 cup white wine

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/3 cup plus 6 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1  Cut 1/2 -inch caps off the tops of the tomatoes and set aside. Carefully scoop out the tomato pulp and put it into a medium saucepan. Put the hollowed tomatoes upright into an 8-x-8-inch baking dish.

2  Heat the saucepan over medium high-heat, add the rice to the tomato pulp, and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, 1/4 cup of the wine, the bay leaf, and the olive oil and bring to a boil.

3  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Discard the bay leaf. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the rice mixture to cool for 10 minutes.

4  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir in 1/3 cup of the Parmesan, the green onions, and basil to the cooled rice. Fill the tomatoes with rice mixture.

5  Top each tomato with 1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese. Place the top onto each tomato and lightly cover the pan with foil.

6  Bake the tomatoes for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, pour the remaining wine over the tomatoes, and continue baking for 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve with the wine drippings over the top.

Tip: Look for flat-bottomed tomatoes so they stand up easily in the baking dish. If necessary, you can slice a small sliver off the bottom of the tomato to create a flat surface.

Recipe from The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies, Wiley Publishing, Nov 2011

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