Thursday, July 13, 2006

greek stuffed tomatoes

Hey, just because I live in New England and my tomatoes won't ripen until late August doesn't mean those of you in warmner climes shouldn't get a head start. Here's another favorite from our Mediterranean trip.

4 large, firm, well-shaped tomatoes (that ought to get you interested!)
2 medium zucchini, grated
2 medium onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 c currants or raisins (could also use dried cranberries)
4 T pine nuts
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh mint, chopped
fresh basil, chopped
1/2 c rice, uncooked
dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 t sugar
salt & pepper
4 T bread crumbs
olive oil
Cut the tops off the tomatoes (save them) and then scoop out the insides (save that, too). Put the tomato bodies in an oven proof dish where they fit snug enough to hold each other up.

Cover the bottom of a saute pan with olive oil and cook the onions over medium heat. When they are translucent, add the rice and cook for another two or three minutes. Add the zucchini and the garlic and, after a minute or two, the tomato pulp. Once that mixture is simmering, add the currants, pine nuts, herbs, sugar, and spices.

Fill each tomato about 2/3 full of mixture (rice will swell while cooking) and put tops on tomatoes. If you have extra filling, pack it around the tomatoes in the dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Cook in a 250 degree oven for about an hour, until the rice is cooked and the tomatoes have wrinkled.

These can be eaten hot or at room temperature.