Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice, Pine Nuts and Parmesan Cheese

Lorraine Fitzmaurice adds some flavour to this simple dish

Ingredients


  • for baked tomatoes:
  • 6 beef tomatoes, ripe but firm, (not too soft)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 100 g basmati rice
  • vegetable stock cube
  • 25 g toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tblsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tblsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 25 g finely grated parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • for the tzatziki:
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 500 g greek style yoghurt
  • 2 tblsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
  • lemon or lime juice
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. Wash the rice and place in a pot with a tight lid. Crumble in the stock cube and pour in water. Then Bring to a boil, lower the heat and place the lid on top. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  2. Cut the top off the tomatoes. Scoop out the pulp and scrape some of the tomato from the top. Chop and save the juices.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic and cook over a medium heat until the onion is soft. Add the tomato and juices and a pinch of sea salt and cook until the juices are reduced. Check the seasoning. Fluff up and add the mint, parsley, pine nuts, tomato and onion, and parmesan cheese.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat the oven to 180°C (Gas 4).
  6. Using a spoon, fill the tomatoes with the filling. Leave a little room to allow the rice to expand. Place the lids on top and drizzle with olive oil.
  7. Bake for 1 hour. Serve with Tzatziki.
  8. For the Tzatziki:
  9. Peel the cucumber, and coarsely grate. Place in a clean tea towel and squeeze out the liquid. Then allow to rest for a further ½ hour and squeeze out any further liquid.
  10. Place the yoghurt into a bowl. Add the cucumber, mint, parsley, garlic, olive oil, and stir. Season with lemon or lime and salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Potential Problems and Solutions:
  12. P: Tomato will cave in while cutting the top off.
  13. S: The tomatoes were too soft. They must be ripe but firm. Also use a sharp knife, a blunt knife will ruin the effect




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