Tomatoes stuffed with rice

  • 225g Arborio rice (or other short-grain white rice)
  • 6 ripe but firm large tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 25g grated Parmesan
1) Cook the rice in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, stirring periodically, until just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain. Rinse the rice under cold running water. Set the rice aside.

2) Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

3) Cut a 1-cm thick slice off the top of each tomato; reserve the tomato tops. Cut and scoop the seeds, pulp, and juice from each tomato into a small bowl. Reserve 60ml of the tomato juice and pulp.

4) Oil the bottom of an 20cm x 20cm baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place the hollowed tomatoes in the prepared dish.

5) Toss the rice with the reserved tomato juice and pulp. Add garlic, basil, parsley, Parmesan, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper, to taste. Combine well.

6) Spoon the rice mixture into the hollowed tomatoes, mounding slightly. Sprinkle leftover stuffing on the bottom of the pan. Drizzle entire dish with olive oil. Place the reserved tomato slices atop the tomatoes. Bake until the rice is heated through, about 20 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

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