Inspired by Smitten Kitchen
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Coarse or Kosher salt
- 6 medium-to-large tomatoes
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ cup Arborio or other short-grained, starchy rice
- Few tablespoons chopped parsley, oregano or slivered basil
- Handful breadcrumbs
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an ovenproof baking dish with olive oil.
- To prepare the tomatoes, cut the tops off and scoop out the tomato juices, seeds and flesh. Salt the cavities of the tomatoes and turn them upside down on a plate to drain.
- To prepare the filling, run the scooped-out tomato flesh and juices through a food mill or pulse in a blender until coarsely pureed. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion, the garlic and the red pepper flakes, cooking them together for 2 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the rice and cook together for about 3 minutes, or until the rice toasts a little. Add the tomato puree and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Season with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, then cover the skillet and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is par-cooked. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- To reassemble tomatoes. stir the fresh herbs into the tomato-rice mixture. Arrange the tomatoes right-side-up in the baking pan, then spoon mixture into the tomatoes, filling them 7/8 of the way to leave room for the rice to finish expanding. Coat with the breadcrumbs, which can be drizzled lightly with olive oil.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, until the tomato walls are soft and the rice inside has finished cooking. Serve hot.