1. Using the freshest ingredients makes all the difference in these recipes. I only make these in the summer when the tomatoes are garden fresh. It's what makes these dishes all the more special.
|Savoring Italy by Michele Scicolone|
Pomodori Ripieni di Riso Verde
Tomatoes Stuffed with Green Rice
1/2 c. medium-grain white rice such as Arborio
salt to taste
4 large tomatoes
2 Tbl. olive oil
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh basil, plus whole leaves for garnish
2 Tbl. chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbl. grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
1 small clove, finely chopped
fresh ground pepper to taste
Bring a saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add the rice and salt and simmer until the rice is about half cooked, 9-10 minutes. Drain, place in a large bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°. Oil a baking dish just large enough to fit the tomatoes snugly.
Cut off a slice 1/2 inch thick from the top of each tomato and reserve. Using a small spoon, scoop out the tomato seeds and juice and place in a sieve set over a bowl. Arrange the tomatoes in the prepared baking dish.
Add to the rice the strained tomato juice, olive oil, chopped basil, parsley, cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper and mix well. Spoon the rice mixture into the tomatoes, dividing evenly. Cover each tomato with its top.
Bake until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot or at room temperature. Garnish with the whole basil leaves.
2. The rustic bread gets good and soggy with oil and vinegar- it's the best part of Panzanella.
Bread and Summer Vegetable Salad
2 tomatoes cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 c. fresh basil leaves, torninto small pieces, plus whole leaves for garnish
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
3 Tbl. red wine vinegar, or to taste
salt and freshly ground pepper
6-8 slices coarse country bread
In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and torn basil. Drizzle with 1/2 cup olive oil and 3 tablespoons vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
Cut or tear the bread into bite-sized pieces. Place half the bread in a wide, shallow bowl. Spoon on half the vegetables. Layer the remaining bread on top and then the remaining vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Toss the salad, then taste to adjust the seasonings. If the bread is dry, add a little more oil and vinegar. Garnish with basil leaves and serve immediately.
3. My absolute favorite tomato recipe is this tomato pie. I could eat the entire pie in one sitting, but I restrain myself to half. The melted cheesy part on top is-to-die-for. I've shared it before and I'll share it forever...It's what I'm most excited about this week! CLICK HERE for recipe.