These were delicious, even Rob approved of them and they were meat-free. Meat free dinners aren’t always the biggest hit at my house, but this one was a winner.
It’s tasty AND pretty. (The Ricotta Torta next to the stuffed tomato will be posted in a few days.)
The tomatoes are stuffed with rice, cheese, olives, parsley and garlic. It has great texture and flavor. The original recipe, from The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook, called for black olives, but as I didn’t have any on hand I used Kalamata olives instead. I thought they went really well. I found the parsley was a little heavy, and think it would be great with basil instead.
My biggest problem with this recipe is how much tomato was wasted. After hollowing out four large tomatoes, I had a lot of tomato that I had to throw out. If I had thought of it I would plan to keep all the tomato innards and use them in omelets, a salad, schue schue, or some purpose beyond the trash. (I just realized I haven’t posted a recipe for schue schue… this MUST be rectified.)
Still, if waste is the biggest problem with a recipe, I say power forward!
Rice and Mozzarella Stuffed Tomatoes
1/2 cup Arborio Rice
2 cups Chicken Broth (or water for vegetarians)
4 large, ripe and firm tomatoes
1 cup shredded mozzarella
10-15 large black or kalamata olives
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (or try basil)
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper
1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in medium pot and add rice. Simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and cool to room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 375. Cut off top 1/2 inch of tomatoes and carefully core out the seeds and insides, being careful not to pierce the outside of each tomato.
3. Add cheese, olives, parsley, garlic, and 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil to the rice and mix. Using a small spoon, fill tomatoes with rice mixture, packing it in lightly. I topped each tomato with a bit of extra mozzarella.
4. Grease baking dish (I used a pie plate) with remaining half tablespoon of olive oil and place tomatoes inside in a single layer.
5. Bake until the tomatoes are soft, but not falling apart – roughly 25 to 30 minutes.
6. Allow tomatoes to cool 10-15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!