Thursday, 15 January 2009

The best stuffed tomatoes - ever!

One of my favourite blogs is Orangette written by a gorgeous woman called Molly. I have probably told you about her before, she takes wonderful pictures and every recipe I have made has become a favourite - like the eggplant curry.

I have a new favourite which Molly demanded everyone make, and if I may be so bossy, I think you all should as well! Rice stuffed tomatoes adapted from Luisa Weiss.

The photo isn't terribly exciting but the flavour (and the ease) of this recipe make them perfect! Yum. I made them a lot before it turned really hot over here in Adelaide. Now, I try to avoid using the oven as pregnancy + heat doesn't mix!

4 large, good-tasting tomatoes
1 small onion, diced
Olive oil
1/3 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup water
5 fresh basil leaves
baby potatoes, sliced into rounds

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Cut the tops off the tomatoes. Holding them over a bowl, scoop out their insides – flesh, seeds, and juice – and let it all fall into the bowl. Set the tomatoes in a lightly oiled 9”x13” baking dish. Then fish the flesh out of the bowl, and chop it. Return it to the bowl with the juice and seeds.

In a medium saucepan, warm a glug of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent. Add the rice, and continue to cook, stirring, for another minute or two. Add the tomato flesh, juice, and seeds – it may look like a lot, but add it all – as well as the water. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces, and add them too. Add a generous pinch or two of salt. Reduce the heat slightly, cover the pot, and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste, and if needed, add more salt.

Spoon the par-cooked rice mixture into the tomatoes. Top them with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs. Arrange the potato slices around the tomatoes in the pan. Give everything a good drizzle of olive oil. (You might want to flip and rub the potatoes a bit, to make sure that each has a nice coat of oil.) Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The tomatoes should shrivel a bit and release some of their juices, and the potatoes should cook through.

Cool for 15 minutes or so before eating, so that the tomato juices have time to settle.

Sathya-rating *****

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