Baked, stuffed, roasted or spiced – the tastiest ways to make the most of this season’s crop
Do away with bowls and serve this tasty rice dish in the tomatoes themselves
- 6 large beef tomatoes
- 4tbsp olive oil
- 1tbsp butter
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 175g (6oz) basmati rice
- 2tsp rose harissa paste (from supermarkets)
- 2tbsp tomato purée
- 500ml (18fl oz) hot vegetable stock
- 4tbsp each finely chopped fresh dill and mint
- 2tbsp toasted pine nuts
Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the tops off the tomatoes (leaving the green stalks intact, if you like). Scoop out the pulp and place in a bowl, reserving the tomatoes and lids.
In a nonstick frying pan, heat 2tbsp of the oil with the butter. Stir in the onion and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes until softened. Season, then add the garlic, celery and carrot. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften, then stir in the tomato pulp.
Add the rice, harissa paste and tomato purée, then pour the stock over and stir. Reduce the heat to low, then simmer for 15 minutes until the rice is just cooked. Top up with hot water if needed. Stir in the herbs and pine nuts, then season to taste.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Place the beef tomatoes in a nonstick roasting tin. Divide the rice mixture between each one, packing it down with a spoon. Top with the tomato lids and drizzle the remaining 2tbsp oil over.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes are softened. Check halfway through the cooking time and cover the tin with foil if the edges are browning too much. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.