06 March 2014

Roasted Basil Brown Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes

This was my lunch today.  Super simple, gorgeous, and delicious.

I realize I haven't posted here much, and pulling out my camera, snapping what I pulled out of the oven, and sharing it here with you sure is a delight.  I miss blogging here so much.

Life has been busy that usually I just throw something random together for dinner at the end of the day.  I feel I rarely have something homemade from my kitchen that's blogworthy anymore, and even more rarely do I have a chance to capture it in photos using beautiful natural light.  But today it worked out, and I'm thrilled to share these easy brown rice-stuffed tomatoes with you, scented with onion and basil and roasted to perfection.

The rice peeking out from under the tomato caps got nice and crispy while roasting in the hot oven, while the interior developed a fantastic creaminess reminiscent of risotto.

With fresh tomatoes quite the luxury in winter, and in Korea, period (after all, it's a fruit! and fruit is expensive here!), this lunch was a bit of an indulgence, but it also was a creative way for me to use up some leftover brown rice that I'd cooked a few days before.

Let me share with you my (approximate) recipe!

Roasted Basil Brown Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes
Makes 2-4 servings

4 medium-large tomatoes
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked sprouted brown rice
1 teaspoon dried basil flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
Freshly-ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180C (350F).

Cut caps off the top of the tomatoes and scoop out the centers to create tomato "cups," saving all the juices and flesh in a bowl.  Chop up any of the larger pieces of flesh into fine dice.  Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper into the tomato cups and set aside.

Over medium heat, sweat the onions for about 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.  Add the rice, tomato flesh and juices, basil, salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine thoroughly.  Bring to a gentle boil and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring, until juices are mostly absorbed (if your tomatoes weren't super juicy, add a few tablespoons of water during cooking to help the seasonings to distribute and meld with the rice).

Divide the rice mixture between the tomato cups, pressing lightly to compact the filling and mounding it high on each tomato.  Top with the tomato caps and roast in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, until tomatoes are meltingly tender and the edges of the rice become golden and crispy.  Serve warm.