Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rice and Pesto-Stuffed Tomatoes

Like all foodies, I bemoan supermarket tomatoes. When I buy tomatoes in the off-season (which is, like, October to late August), I shell out for expensive cherry tomatoes. I ration a pint to last for days, and I wouldn’t dream of using these pricey little gems for cooking. I’m just as stingy when tomatoes are in season. Chop, sauté or roast ripe, juicy, sweet tomatoes? No way. I eat them raw, sliced in salad, with a sprinkle of salt and a swipe of mayo. This year, I ate my way through a box of tomatoes. Then I bought more. And more… Until I gave in and started cooking with them.

This recipe is inspired by the Wednesday Chef's rice-stuffed tomatoes.

I halved 6 large tomatoes and scooped out the seeds and flesh into a bowl. The tomato shells went into a foil-lined pan. I sautéed a small onion in olive oil in a non-stick saucepan, then added ½ cup dry rice and sautéed it until the grains were coated in oil.

I added a cup of water to the pan, brought the water to a boil, then lowered the heat to a very low simmer and covered the pan until the rice was done (15 minutes). I let the rice cool a bit, then stirred in about 3 tablespoons of pesto.

I stuffed each tomato half with about 2-3 tablespoons of rice, and topped the tomatoes with grated provolone (mozzarella or Parmesan would work just as well here). In the saucepan used for making rice, I brought the tomato liquid to a boil and then simmered until it reduced a bit. I poured the liquid over the tomatoes, and baked them at 425 for about 45 minutes. These tomatoes are best eaten lukewarm.


adele said...

Hmm. I think an early run-in with a tofu-stuffed pepper turned me off stuffed vegetables. This sounds more like risotto in a tomato bowl, which is definitely more appealing.

Mrs. M. said...

Adele--I love stuffed vegetables, but they're kind of a pain to make. I wouldn't go for tofu-stuffed peppers, either. I only like tofu in Asian dishes.

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