Stuffed veggies – zucchinis, tomatoes, eggplants – are like the little black dress for side dishes. And I’m not kidding. Whenever you need a quick, easy, and “can’t go wrong” side dish, that’s your best option.
Here’s my recipe for simple Fried Rice and Mushroom stuffed Tomatoes, baked in the oven and an excellent side to any meat:
(For 4 side dishes, or 2 main)
4 large tomatoes
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup rice
2-3 tablespoons bread crumbs
Black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1. Cut off the tomato “lids”.
2. Carve the tomatoes with a spoon, collecting all the “meat” in a bowl. Be very careful not to dig too deep, tearing the bottom of the tomato. (I found the easiest way for me to carve was with the help of a small knife, slicing the core of the tomato in the shape of a cross, and then scooping out each quarter.)
3. If the scooped out tomato chunks are rather large, chop them down.
4. Preheat oven at 375 ˚F.
5. Over medium heat, in a sauce pan, place the chopped onion, rice, chopped mushrooms, and the tomato meat, together with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Add salt and black pepper as well as minced garlic.Cover with lid to slightly “steam”. Mix with wooden spoon frequently, until the veggies have become tender and the rice is almost fried in the olive oil.
6. Fill the carved tomatoes with the mixture from the saucepan. (Do not overfill.) Top each with about ½ tablespoon breadcrumbs and tomato lids.
7. Spread a thin layer of olive all over each filled tomato. Place in baking pan and spread leftover mixture in between.
8. Bake until the tomatoes have softened and the filling has completely cooked. (About 20 minutes.)