When I think about foods that celebrate summer, the first thing that comes to my mind is ripe, tasty tomatoes. Whether you’re picking them from your garden or buying them at your local store or farmer’s market, look for big, round, juicy tomatoes that can be carved out and filled with a delicious pilaf. These can be made for a few or for a crowd, either served as a meal by themselves or alongside a fresh salad with some crusty bread.
½ cup brown basmati rice, uncooked
½ cup white basmati rice, uncooked, plus 2 pinches of turmeric
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup scallions, chopped
½ teaspoon allspice
⅓ cup currants
2 tablespoon fresh dill, plus extra for topping tomatoes
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon orange zest
6 medium tomatoes
For the pilaf:
- Separately rinse both brown and white rice and soak, separately, for 30 minutes.
- Cook each rice in its own pot. Add a few pinches of turmeric to the pot of the white rice.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cooked rice and let cool.
- In a small skillet, toast pine nuts and add them to the rice.
- Add scallions, allspice, currants, dill, black pepper, and orange zest to the bowl. Mix and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
For the stuffed tomatoes:
- Cut a thin slice off tops of tomatoes and set aside.
- Scoop out tomato pulp and reserve.
- Fill the tomatoes with the rice mixture so that they are full.
- Place the stuffed tomatoes in a casserole pan leaving a little space between each tomato. Place tops of tomatoes back on for baking.
- Pour a little water (to a depth of approximately ½ inch) into the bottom of the pan.
- Chop the reserved pulp (including the seeds and liquid), add the remaining dill, and pour into the bottom of the pan.
- Cook for 30-40 minutes.
You can substitute both kinds of rice with several colors of quinoa or other grains.