The perfect Valentine’s Day meal may very well be Greek stuffed tomatoes (ντομάτες γεμιστές). Simply delicious, gorgeous red and filled with love
The crunch of the pine nuts and sweetness of the red currants in this recipe are just amazing and bring so much to the dish so do try and find both, if possible. It’s also a good idea to take an extra minute in the grocery store to choose large, meaty tomatoes all of approximate similar size and shape. This will help to ensure even cooking and will be prettier on your plate!
You can easily make the filling ahead up to 5 days and keep covered, in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake. Just remember to bring filling to room temperature before filling.
Oh, and also worth mentioning, this filling is also absolutely incredible all on its own 🙂
•8 medium/large tomatoes
•1 cup chopped onion
•1 cup (uncooked) rice
•1⁄2 cup olive oil
•1⁄4 cup currants
•1⁄4 cup pine nuts
•1⁄4 cup fresh mint
•1⁄4 cup fresh dill
•2 cups water
•1 1⁄2 tsp salt and pepper
•1 cup of tomato insides, mashed
•3⁄4 cup warm water (in addition to 2 cups above)
Slice off top of each tomato to make small lids. Scoop out insides of tomatoes and save 1 cup. Mash tomato insides well and set aside.
Toast pine nuts in pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until very lightly brown. Finely chop and combine fresh herbs. Set aside.
Saute onions until soft then stir in rice and cook on low for 5 minutes. Add pine nuts, currants, herbs, tomato insides and 2 cups water. Bring to simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Allow filling to cool for approx 10 minutes before filling tomatoes. You can make filling up to 5 days ahead of time and keep covered in refrigerator until ready to fill/bake. Remember to bring to room temperature before using.
When ready to bake, fit tomatoes into a pan which holds them snuggly and fill each tomato to the top with rice filling. Cover filled tomatoes with lids and brush tops and sides with olive oil. Add 3⁄4 cup warm water to the bottom of the pan in between stuffed tomatoes and bake for 1 1⁄2 hours in 375° oven.
*a 9” round cake pan works well for eight large tomatoes.
Kiki Vagianos is The Greek Vegan! Kiki lives and cooks in Boston. She spends her free time collecting, testing and posting favorite traditional Greek recipes at The Greek Vegan website. She loves sharing these simple and delicious authentic dishes and helping to bring them back into kitchens throughout the Greek diaspora. Kali Orexi!