Lorraine Fitzmaurice adds some flavour to this simple dish


  • 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


  • 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.
  • Cut the top off the tomatoes. Scoop out the pulp and scrape some of the tomato from the top. Chop and save the juices.
  • 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.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oven to 180°C (Gas 4).
  • 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.
  • Bake for 1 hour. Serve with Tzatziki.
  • For the Tzatziki:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Potential Problems and Solutions:
  • P: Tomato will cave in while cutting the top off.
  • 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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