There is nothing more amazing than the phenomenal tomatoes that are available here in the summer and early fall season. I love the vibrancy of flavors that fresh tomatoes bring to any dish and adding tons of garlic and basil makes them even more marvelous.
Here is my friend Maria Paniccia’s outstanding yet simple stuffed tomato rice recipe. Her husband Peter grows some of the best tomatoes in New York and he spoils me silly with them every year.
Stuffed Tomato Rice
6-8 ripe plum tomatoes (you can use any tomato)
1 entire head of garlic, peeled and chopped
3 cups hot cooked white rice (basmati or uncle bens works just fine)
1 cup basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
5-6 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
• Preheat oven to 400°.
• Cut the tops of the tomato and scoop out the insides.
• Chop the scooped tomato pulp and place in a bowl.
• Add the chopped fresh garlic and basil to the pulp.
• Add 3 tbs of olive oil, salt and pepper to it.
• Add the hot cooked white rice to the tomatoes and mix it very well.
• Place the scooped out tomato shells in an oiled baking dish.
• Stuff the rice mixture inside the tomatoes shells.
• Spread the leftover rice mixture around the base of the tomato shells.
• Add grated cheese on top ( optional).
• Sprinkle remaining olive oil on the dish.
• Loosely cover the dish with foil and bake for about 30 – 40 minutes until the tomatoes are soft.
• Mix the rice with the tomato shells.