2/3 c. Arborio rice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 ripe large tomatoes
3 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp. parsley
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
Looks fancy and impressive, but no slaving away in the kitchen required. If you end up with extra filling, try Italian Fried Rice.
Make sure you're using firm tomatoes so they won't go all to pieces.
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add rice and simmer over medium heat until just cooked through. Stir occasionally so that the grains don't get all sticky. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8x8 square baking pan with nonstick.
Cut a thick slice off the top of each tomato (removing the core). Keep the tops!
Get a small bowl and scoop out the insides of each tomato – seeds, pulp, juice – into the bowl.
Place the empty tomatoes into the prepared baking pan.
In a medium bowl, combine rice and 1/4 c. of the tomato pulp. Stir in chopped basil, parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined. Add cheese and additional salt and pepper if desired.
Spoon this rice mixture into the waiting tomatoes, mounding the top a little.
Top with the tomato tops and bake at 350°F about 20 min. (until rice is heated through).
Serve hot or at room temperature. Remove from baking dish very gently; the baked tomato can get somewhat fragile.