Here, tomatoes are stuffed with a mixture of aromatic vegetables, but it’s the sweet-tart chewiness of the currants and the crunch of the pine nuts that make this easy side dish special. You can also fill cherry tomatoes with this stuffing and pass them as hors d’oeuvres.
Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes
6 red and/or yellow uniformly shaped, ripe but firm tomatoes, preferably with green stems
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) olive oil
3/4 cup (4 oz./125 g.) finely chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g.) finely chopped celery
1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g.) peeled and finely chopped carrot
3/4 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) finely chopped portobello mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 cups (15 oz./470 g.) cooked brown rice
1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g.) dried currants
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Using a serrated knife, cut a thin slice from the stem end of each tomato — just enough to reveal the inner flesh and seeds and make an opening in the cavity wide enough for spooning. Set the tomato tops aside. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh from the insides of the tomatoes, leaving walls about 1 inch (2.5 cm.) thick. Sprinkle the inside of each tomato shell generously with salt and invert the tomatoes onto several thicknesses of paper towels and let drain for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, discard the seed sacs and chop the tomato flesh.
In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and saute until softened, about 3 minutes longer. Stir in the mushrooms and garlic and saute for 30 seconds longer. Stir in the chopped tomato flesh, the basil, parsley and rice. Remove from the heat and stir in the pine nuts and currants. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the tomato shells, cut side up, in a baking dish just large enough to hold them. Spoon the rice mixture into the tomatoes, dividing it evenly; pack the rice lightly and mound it slightly on top. Replace the reserved tops. Drizzle the tomatoes with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Roast until the skins begin to brown and just start to split, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly to allow the tomatoes to firm up and the juices to redistribute. Serve warm. Serves 6.
Recipe from Good Food to Share, by Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan.