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Recipe  •  27 January 2023

 

Stuffed baked tomatoes with bocconcini salad

The summery flavours of the rice filling also work well with red capsicums; just replace the tomato flesh with chopped olives.

Serves 4

  • 8 firm, ripe tomatoes
  • ¹⁄₃ cup (65 g) long-grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 100 g baby spinach leaves, chopped
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil and chopped
  • small handful basil leaves
  • 200 g bocconcini, torn into small pieces
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Method

Using a large sharp knife, slice a lid off each tomato, about 1 cm from the top; reserve the tomato lids. Hollow out the tomatoes with a spoon, placing the seeds and membrane into a sieve placed over a bowl to collect the juices. Leave to drain for 30 minutes, then pour the juice into a jug and top it up with water to make 1 cup (250 ml). Coarsely chop the tomato flesh in the sieve and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the rice and the 1 cup (250 ml) tomato liquid in a small saucepan, then cover and bring to simmering point. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Meanwhile, heat half the oil in another saucepan, then add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the spinach and reserved tomato flesh, cover and cook for 2 minutes or until the spinach just starts to wilt. Remove the pan from the heat, add the rice and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then divide the mixture among the tomato shells. Place the stuffed tomatoes in a roasting tin or baking dish and top with the tomato lids. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Place the basil leaves and bocconcini in a bowl, drizzle with the remaining oil and the vinegar and toss to combine. Divide the salad and stuffed tomatoes among plates and serve.

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