The Classic Summer Tomatoes – Pomodori col riso classici

It is a climatological irony that during the hottest time of the year, the best dishes need to be cooked in an oven — and this is the case with these tomatoes.  This is the epitome of  home food, a summer staple.  These tomatoes stuffed with rice are to be eaten at room temperature, never hot.

The one thing that no one likes to say about pomodori col riso the Roman way is that … well … they are not big on taste, slightly bland in fact.  And that’s just how they are supposed to taste — because when it is very very very hot, you want flavours to be soothing as opposed to stimulating.  Do not be tempted to add a little bit of this or a dash of that: no!  That would be a mockery of pomodori col riso.  The one concession  is basil.  Caveat emptor …

Slice a ‘lid’ off each tomato and set aside.

Use a teaspoon or other implement to remove the pulp of the tomato and leave it inside a mixing bowl.

Turn the tomatoes upside down and leave them like this for about 10 minutes so that any residual liquid drains away.

This is the bowl containing the tomato pulp, to which I added plenty of shredded basil leaves, a good dose of salt, and about three cloves of garlic roughly chopped.   Do make sure you use plenty of salt, this recipe requires it.

Now add 1 spoon of Italian rice (not basmati!) per tomato, plus a little bit extra (if the tomatoes are very big, obviously add a bit more).  I was dealing with 8 tomatoes so I counted 8 spoonfulls and then added another 4.  In terms of quantity, the idea is to fill each tomato only half way up.

Now add plenty of olive oil.   Stir these ingredients and let them ‘sit’ for at least half an hour. The longer they sit, the better for the rice to absorb some taste from the tomato pulp and juice, the garlic and the basil.

Roast potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to these tomatoes and are usually cooked together.  I, however, prefer to cook them separately and add them at the end, at presentation time.

Fill each tomato with the rice and pulp, about half way up the inside of the tomato and then cover each tomato with its own ‘lid’.  Then, scatter the rest of the rice in the oven dish.

All ready!  Cook in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 40 minutes, together with the potatoes.

Here they are … just out of the oven.

The potatoes too.

Officiate a wedding between the tomatoes and the potatoes.  Allow to cool.

Serve.  You can put this dish in the fridge and serve it the following day if you like.  The brilliant feature of this recipe, I repeat, is that it offers texture and hunger-curbing factors without overwhelming the palate on a very hot day.

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About myhomefoodthatsamore

Community celebration via food, wine and all beautiful things.
This entry was posted in Herbs and plants, italian home food, Secondi (main course, usually meat based), Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Classic Summer Tomatoes – Pomodori col riso classici

  1. Jackie says:

    Delizioso just like Nonna used to make. Sadly British potatoes are on the sweet side but still v palatable x

  2. Pingback: Best to wait | rachel eats

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