Tomatoes Stuffed with Green Rice

Wow! This is a really great recipe that tastes and looks like you worked a lot harder than you really did. These are a unique idea for a side dish, or can be a meal on their own for lunches (which is why I made them). Ben likes to call them “bruschetta tomatoes”. Even though they aren’t really much like bruschetta, they definitely have similar flavors. I decided to make these because I had four tomatoes in the fridge that were about to go bad, and this is a tasty way to save them.

This is another recipe from Williams Sonoma (I know, I know – they all have been lately, but they’re just so good!) I use vine-ripened tomatoes and because of their smaller size I usually find that I have enough rice to fill five or six tomatoes rather than the four that the recipe calls for.

Tomatoes Stuffed with Green Rice
Ingredients:
1/2 cup medium-grain white rice such as arborio
Salt, to taste
4 large tomatoes
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil, plus whole leaves for garnish
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:
Bring a saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add the rice and salt and simmer until the rice is about half cooked, 9 to 10 minutes. Drain, place in a large bowl and set aside.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Make sure to use a baking dish just large enough to hold the tomatoes snugly. Cut off a slice 1/2 inch thick from the top of each tomato and reserve. Using a small spoon, scoop out the tomato seeds and juice and place in a sieve set over a bowl. Arrange the tomatoes in the prepared baking dish.

Add to the rice the strained tomato juice, the olive oil, chopped basil, parsley, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper and mix well. Spoon the rice mixture into the hollowed-out tomatoes, dividing evenly. Cover each tomato with its top.Bake until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot or at room temperature, garnished with the whole basil leaves. Serves 4.

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