Fresh Tomatoes Stuffed With Rice And Cheese
|Ripe tomatoes||8 Large|
|Kosher salt||To Taste|
|Olive oil||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Chopped scallions/Scallions||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Garlic||1 Clove (5 gm), minced|
|Converted rice||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Dry white wine/Dry vermouth||2 Tablespoon|
|Chicken stock/Canned broth||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)|
|Chopped basil/1/2 cup minced parsley mixed with 1 teaspoon dried basil||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Mozzarella cheese||8 Ounce, cut into 1/2-inch cubes|
|Lemon juice||2 Tablespoon|
|Freshly ground pepper||To Taste|
|Freshly grated parmesan cheese||1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)|
1. If the tomatoes do not stand straight, cut a small slice off the bottom of each. Carefully core the tomatoes. Scoop out and reserve the tomato flesh, leaving a firm wall on all sides. Sprinkle a little coarse salt into each tomato, invert onto a rack and allow to drain while you prepare the filling.
2. In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Saute the shallots and garlic over moderately high heat for about 2 minutes, then add the rice. Toss for a minute or so, then add the wine. Reduce for a couple of minutes, until almost dry, then add the broth. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and partially cover the pot. Simmer until the rice is almost cooked but still quite firm, about
15 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the rice to a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, remove the seeds and squeeze excess juice from the reserved tomato pulp. Chop the pulp coarsely and add to the rice in the bowl.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Toss together the rice, basil (or parsley and dried basil), mozzarella, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Stuff the tomato shells with the rice mixture, mounding it slightly on top. (Use any surplus rice for a rice salad, adding oil and vinegar to taste.)
6. Place the stuffed tomatoes in a shallow baking pan (preferably not aluminum) and sprinkle the Parmesan over each. Drizzle 3/4 teaspoon of the remaining olive oil over each tomato. Add hot water to the pan to a depth of about 1/2 inch, and bake until the tomatoes are tender but still intact, 15 to 25 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.