The cocktail tomatoes are a smaller version, but a tad bigger than your typical cherry or grape tomato. They have a sweet flavor from a slightly higher sugar content compared to other tomato varieties. They’re a perfect size for stuffing and in a pinch make a fun, easy appetizer. The tomatoes are plentiful at the markets now, but we are heading toward the end of tomato season in New England. Pick tomatoes that are firm to the touch and free of open cracks, and please don’t store them in the refrigerator, but instead at room temperature. I used a wild rice and quinoa blend to stuff my tomatoes. Feel free to embellish your rice by lightly toasting it and adding your favorite vegetables and herbs. I served my rice stuffed tomatoes with extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a splash of the fresh tomato juice that I had scooped out.
- 8-12 ripe cocktail tomatoes or large cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup cooked rice or rice blend of your choice
- Kosher or sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-vigin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the flesh and juice, being careful not to pierce the bottoms. Save the tomato juice and set aside. If the tomatoes don't stand upright, cut a sliver of the skin off of the bottom.
- Cook the rice according to the package directions. Let it cool. Spoon the rice mixture into the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet coated with olive oil. Bake the tomatoes in the oven for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes skins are starting to wrinkle. Top with extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the tomato juice. Serve warm or at room temperature.