We are all doing our bit for the environment & cutting meat out of our diet makes a huge impact. So we bring you Meat Free Mid Week Recipes – Summer Stuffed Tomatoes with Fennel.
Summer Stuffed Tomatoes with Fennel
Makes 6 servings
- 12 medium ripe but firm tomatoes (not refrigerated)
- 1 cup olive oil
- 3 cups chopped onions
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, preferably freshly ground or crushed in a mortar
- 1 cup medium-grain rice, such as Arborio
- 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium potato, scrubbed, halved crosswise, and each half quartered
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Cut off the top 1/2 inch of each tomato; set aside the tops. Using a grapefruit spoon, very carefully remove as much pulp as possible from each tomato, without piercing the skin. Chop the pulp. Measure out 2 1/2 cups; freeze the rest for use later, if desired.
In a large skillet, heat 2/3 cup of the oil and sauté the onions and fennel bulb over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the fennel seeds and rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of the tomato pulp, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes more.
Stir in the parsley, dill, and mint, and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and add the salt and plenty of pepper. Stuff the tomatoes with the rice mixture, leaving a little room for the stuffing to expand, and cover with the tomato tops.
Place the tomatoes in a 13-x-9-inch baking dish and arrange the potato pieces in the gaps between the tomatoes. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup tomato pulp over everything and drizzle the tomatoes with the remaining 1/3 cup oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake for 1 hour, or until the rice is tender (lift the cover of a tomato and check). Turn off the oven and let stand in the oven for 10 minutes, then let cool to room temperature. Serve 1 or 2 tomatoes and a couple of potato pieces on each plate.