Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice, Spinach, and Cheese

I've made stuffed tomatoes before and LOVED them but wanted a vegetarian version I can eat now... the others had turkey. These were so tasty. I started with a recipe from a vegetarian cookbook and tweaked a couple things.
Here's what I changed:

*Brown rice in place of white rice
*Spinach in place of Swiss chard
*Goat cheese in place of cheddar (if you use cheddar, sprinkle it on the tomatoes after they cook instead of mixing it in. Raise the temperature to broil and give them a couple minutes under the broiler. Watch them! The cheese will burn quickly).
*Walnuts in place of pine nuts

*Onion in place of shallots
*I also added some sun-dried tomatoes

*Argh! These were so pretty! I didn't get any decent photos... :( Oh well, you sort of get the idea!

Makes 6 stuffed tomatoes (I only made two but the measurements would be all wonky if I started dividing everything by 3 and posting it here!)

6 medium-large sized tomatoes
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup washed, chopped spinach
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped soft goat cheese
1/8 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Cut a 1/2-inch slice from the top of each tomato. Scoop out the seeds and pulp carefully (I ran a knife around the inside like you would a grapefruit). Leave the shell intact. If you'd like, you can sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with a little salt (I totally missed this - shows how much I pay attention to recipes! - and didn't miss the salt... I really don't think you need it). Turn the tomatoes upside down on some paper towels or a plate to drain while you prepare the stuffing.

3. Heat a wok or skillet over high heat for one minute. Add the oil and onions, reduce the heat to low. Saute until the onion is soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach and saute until wilted, 2-3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and mix the rice, spinach mixture, soy sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, goat cheese, and oregano together.

4. Stuff the tomatoes with the spinach and rice mixture and place them in a shallow greased baking dish. Leave a little space in between them.

5. Bake, uncovered, until the tomatoes are cooked through, 10-12 minutes (I think mine had more like 15). Serve immediately.

**I really wanted mine with some sauteed zucchini but my zucchini wasn't any good anymore :( I did made some roasted red potatoes which were equally yummy! Hello starch overload, though! lol :)

Based on the Tomatoes Stuffed with Swiss Chard, Rice, and Cheese recipe from The Occasional Vegetarian by Karen Lee.

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