Turkish Stuffed Tomatoes

These are good for a light lunch with salad for four, or this will serve eight as a starter.

Serves 4


Turkish Stuffed Tomatoes
 8 really large ripe tomatoes
 5 fl oz (150 ml) carnaroli rice
 1 dessertspoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1 tablespoon pine nuts
 1 tablespoon currants
 10 fl oz (275 ml) hot stock made with Marigold Swiss Vegetable bouillon powder
 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
 2 teaspoons golden caster sugar
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
You will also need a small frying pan with a tight-fitting lid, and a roasting tin measuring 11 x 8 x 2 inches (28 x 20 x 5 cm).


Begin by cooking the rice. Fry the onion in the olive oil in the frying pan until softened, then add the crushed garlic and pour in the rice. Add the cinnamon, pine nuts and the currants and give everything a good stir to get it well coated. Then season with salt and pepper and pour in the hot stock.

Stir just once, cover and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender. Then remove the rice from the heat, add the thyme and fluff with a skewer. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C). Prepare the tomatoes by slicing off a little of the stalk end and scooping out all the core and seeds – trying to leave as much of the actual flesh as possible. Put a pinch of sugar into each hollowed-out tomato, then pack with the rice mixture and replace the lids.

Place the tomatoes in the roasting tin with a little water at the bottom, drizzle a few drops of olive oil over each one and bake for 25-30 minutes. They are lovely eaten hot or cold.

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