Tomatoes Stuffed with Vegetables and Rice

Tomatoes Stuffed with Vegetables and Rice

6 large fresh Florida tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh white mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach – thawed and drained
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves – crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
OR
1 chicken bouillon cube – crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup quick-cooking rice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Use tomatoes held at room temperature until fully ripe. Cut a slice from the top of each tomato; remove pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch thick shell; set aside. Chop tomato pulp (makes about 3-1/2 cups). In a large skillet over high heat, heat oil until hot. Add mushrooms and onion; cook and stir until tender, about 10 minutes. Add spinach, reserved chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until flavors blend, about 10 minutes. Stir in rice. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Place tomato shells in a 13 × 9 × 2-inch baking pan. Spoon hot mixture into shells, dividing evenly. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese on top of each. Bake until tomatoes are hot and filling is golden, about 15 minutes. Serve as an accompaniment to grilled chicken or pork or as a main dish.

NOTES : When you think about some of the coziest childhood dishes, recipes made with juicy, red tomatoes often come to mind. Take Tomatoes Stuffed with Vegetables and Rice, for example. Tomatoes still make fun, tasty filling holders for grown-up palates, this time with a creamy-smooth mix of garlicky spinach and quick-cooking rice tucked inside. They’re perfect as a side dish for grilled or roasted foods, or serve two stuffed tomatoes as a vegetarian entree at dinner or brunch.