Italian Summer Lunch: Stuffed tomatoes.

This italian studded tomatoes are my go to during the summer, not too heavy, tasty and refreshing. Traditionally we use very large tomatoes (what in UK are called beef tomatoes) or you could use small tomatoes to create bite size or finger food ideal for a summer buffet/picnic. 

You will need: Risotto rice, stock,  Parsley, garlic, salt, pepper,  garlic, olive oil.

Method:

Cook risotto rice with some stock or seasoning, until nearly cooked.

While the rice is cooking prepare the tomatoes.

  • Cut neatly the top of the tomatoes, keep the tops.
  • Remove the pulp from the tomatoes, finely chopped it up or place it in food processor to a fine soupy consistency, save it for later.
  • Season the emptied tomatoes with salt.
  • Once the rice is semi-cooked, remove from the heat.
  • Mix the rice with the pulp from the tomatoes, and add the spices, oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil and garlic to taste (you could use onions or spring onions (or wild garlic) instead of garlic).

Other options:

  1. For an Indian flavour instead add ginger,  turmeric, cumin and coriander and you could use coconut oil instead of olive oil.  
  2. For a spanish twist you can add saffron to the rice while cooking; very little or no origano at all if you want to taste the saffron; once finished cooking, when out of the oven, squeeze some lemon or lime juice on top just before serving.
  •  Stuff the tomatoes with the rice mixture and put the tomatoes tops back on.
  • Cook in the oven until the skin of the tomatoes become darker andthe tops and slightly crispy. My mum used to make a mixture of bread crumbs, garlic, and parsley to sprinkle on top before going into the oven, it's just a little detail that makes them so much tastier. 

Once cooked, sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley (coriander for Indian flavour) and serve. They can be served straight from the oven or later at room temperature.

They make a great snack for the beach, lunch at work or a picnic.