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Recipe

Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes with Pistachios, Currants, Feta, and Tomato Vinaigrette

Servings: 3 as a main dish; 6 as a side

Before roasting, stuff peak-season tomatoes with Mediterranean-style rice studded with pistachios, currants, and feta. The tomato vinaigrette salvages the tomato pulp. These tomatoes are delicious warm and at room temperature. And—if you can stand the wait—they’re even better after a night in the fridge. To serve, reheat them at 375°F until warmed through, about 12 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups white long-grain or basmati rice
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
  • 6 firm-ripe tomatoes (about 8 oz. each)
  • Fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. sherry vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted unsalted pistachios, chopped (or toasted whole pine nuts)
  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped; more leaves for garnish
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh dill, roughly chopped; more leaves for garnish
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta (about 3.5 oz.)
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 460
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 200
  • Fat (g): 22
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13
  • Cholesterol (mg): 15
  • Sodium (mg): 580
  • Carbohydrates (g): 56
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Sugar (g): 12
  • Protein (g): 10

Preparation

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 375°F. Cook the rice according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, drizzle 2 Tbs. of the oil over the bottom of a 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl. Use a paring knife to cut off the top 1/4 inch of the tomatoes; reserve the tops. Cut out the tomatoes’ cores and discard them. Working over the sieve, use your thumb and index finger to loosen and pull out the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes; let the pulp sit in the sieve so that most of the juice drains into the bowl. Use the back of a wooden spoon to press the pulp through the sieve. Transfer 1/3 cup of the tomato juice to a liquid measuring cup, and discard the rest or save for another use. Reserve the large bowl.
  • Place the tomatoes in the prepared baking dish cut side down. Gently roll the tomatoes in the oil to coat, and then stand them cut side up in the baking dish. Very lightly sprinkle the tomato cavities with salt (about 1/4 tsp. divided). Put the reserved tomato tops in the baking dish.
  • Add the sugar, vinegar, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper to the reserved tomato juice. Whisk in the remaining 3 Tbs. oil until well combined.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork, and transfer it to another large bowl. Stir in all but about 2 Tbs. of the vinaigrette along with the pistachios, currants, mint, and dill. Gently stir in the feta. Add the lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
  • Use a spoon to stuff the rice into the tomatoes, and mound more rice on top. If you like, scatter any remaining rice over the bottom of the baking dish to create crispy rice to serve with the tomatoes. Drizzle oil over the tomatoes, rice, and reserved tomato tops. Roast until the tomatoes are tender but holding their shape, 20 minutes for 8 oz. or smaller tomatoes and up to 25 minutes for larger ones. Garnish with more mint leaves and dill fronds, drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbs. vinaigrette, and serve with the lemon wedges.

Tip

Use ripe yet firm tomatoes. Soft, overly ripe tomatoes are likely to fall apart during roasting. I suggest using 8-oz. tomatoes, but a couple of ounces smaller or bigger works fine.

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