Dana Slatkin

Italian Stuffed Tomatoes with Brown Rice, Herbs and Melted Mozzarella

Italian Stuffed Tomatoes

The first heirloom tomatoes arrived at my farmers’ market last week, and they were a sight to behold. Oddly shaped and off-colored, they stood mounded on the table in front of their proud growers. These were clearly not the pampered, perfectly spherical hot-house varieties. They were wondrous preemies, the outcome of fine farming and the sign of sunny skies ahead.

For anyone who experienced the downpours of recent weeks (East Coasters, you have my sympathy), the idea of putting fresh tomatoes on the table may seem ridiculous. So don’t hate me. Order some packets of seeds and get planting. In 50 to 80 days when you have beautiful ripe tomatoes, too, you will thank me for this recipe.

Stuffed Tomatoes

You can vary the cheese here according to your mood or to fit the theme of your menu: try gruyère, feta and goat cheese. If this is going to be your main dish, a handful of white beans would be complete the protein story. For adorable hors d’oeuvres, use bite-sized cherry tomatoes. I sometimes add leftover sliced and sautéed mushrooms to the filling just for kicks. In the summer, I won’t even bother cooking these. I’ll toss in some corn kernels fresh off the cobs and serve the juicy babies on a bed of dressed greens for a delightful al fresco lunch.

Heading to the market? Print out my Farmgirl Shopping Essentials list so you don’t forget anything.

Taste why everyone is crazy for Crispy Parmesan Kale Chips!

The March Cooking Contest is still open! Send in your favorite spring recipe using the comment form at the bottom of any recipe.

Photo credits: foodandspice.blogspot.com and foodwatch.com

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