Among some of the more exotic new varieties of tomatoes is the yellow stuffer tomato – a cross between a yellow tomato and a yellow bell pepper, thick walled, hollow inside, ready to stuff. It’s Latin name - Lycopersicon esculentum. While we wouldn’t rate it the very highest in flavor, it definitely scores high on the convenience and appearance scale. No danger of collapsed stuffed tomatoes here. Again, thank you Ray and Alison for your splendid North Baltimore garden!
Stuffed Yellow Tomatoes with Brown Basmati and Pine Nuts
6 yellow stuffer tomatoes (or large firm regular tomatoes)
2 C chicken or vegetable stock
1 C brown basmati rice
1 tsp sea salt
4 T olive oil
1 C chopped yellow onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C minced flat leaf Italian parsley
1/2 C minced fresh basil
1/3 C toasted pine nuts
1 C shredded aged raw milk cheese with character
1 tsp coarse sea salt
Bring 2 C stock to boil in small heavy saucepan, add rice and salt and cook covered over low heat for 30 minutes. Rice will be slightly underdone, moist and will finish in the oven. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
While rice is cooking, cut 1/2 inch slice off tops of tomatoes and keep next to the tomato. With a small sharp knife, cut around the inside of each tomato leaving the thick wall and removing and reserving the insides in a separate dish. Set aside while preparing the stuffing.
In a heavy sauté pan, wilt onion and garlic in 4 T olive oil. Add enough of the tomato insides to create a thin layer of tomato in pan. Remove from heat and add parsley, basil, brown rice, pine nuts, and shredded cheese. Taste mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Stuff the cavity of each tomato loosely until full and place top gently on tomato. Place a light layer of olive oil in bottom of glass baking pan that holds tomatoes closely together. Add 1 C of left over tomato insides to pan, sprinkle tomatoes with 1 tsp coarse salt. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Uncover pan, baste tomatoes with juices in pan and bake uncovered (use convection baking at this point if you have it) for another 30 minutes, basting occasionally with pan juices. Allow to cool almost to room temperature before serving. These can easily be made one day in advance and gently warmed before serving. Serves 6.
Note: The cheese we used was Zamorano , a Spanish raw sheep's milk cheese similar to Manchego, but more complex. This recipe will work equally well with regular tomatoes.