rice stuffed tomatoes

Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes

  • Author: Flavia Scalzitti


Adapted from Five Quarters: Recipes and Notes from a Kitchen in Rome by Rachel Roddy


  • 56 ripe, medium size tomatoes
  • 1 large garlic clove (or 2 small), finely minced
  • 46 leaves fresh basil, hand-torn into small pieces
  • 1 (generous) cup Arborio rice (or long grain white rice)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for potatoes
  • 3 medium size Yukon Gold (or white) potatoes, peeled and cut into small wedges
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. Wash the tomatoes and pat dry. Cut the tops off and set them aside. Using a spoon, hollow out the tomatoes being careful not to pierce through the bottom or sides. Collect the pulp in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the inside of each tomato evenly with a pinch of salt and turn them upside down on a clean dish towel and let them strain for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and season with ½ teaspoon salt. Add the rice and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the rice just begins to soften on the outside but is still firm on the inside. Drain through a colander and set aside.
  4. Place the tomato pulp in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse the pulp until it is evenly chopped. Pour the pulp back into the mixing bowl and add in the minced garlic, basil, rice, and olive oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, tasting the mixture to make sure it is seasoned properly.
  5. Grease a shallow oven-safe baking dish with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Place the hollowed out tomatoes in the dish and fill each one with the rice mixture until each is filled about ¾ full. Pour any remaining rice mixture into the baking dish, spreading it evenly around the tomatoes. Put the tops back on each tomato.
  6. Place the cut potatoes into the same bowl that held the rice mixture. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and mix well. Transfer the potato wedges to the baking dish, spreading them around the tomatoes (it’s ok if they cover the rice).
  7. Bake the tomatoes for about 1 – 1¼ hours, or until the tomatoes have completely softened and are beginning to wrinkle, the potatoes are golden and crisp at the edges, and the rice has plumped. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let them rest for 30 to 45 minutes before serving.