Stuffed tomatoes


100g wholegrain rice
600g medium-large tomatoes
½ red onion, finely chopped
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 small courgettes (about 100g), finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp shredded mint leaves
2 oregano sprigs, leaves chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3. Put the rice in a pan, cover with water, bring to the boil over a medium-high heat and simmer for 18 minutes, then drain. Cut the tops off the tomatoes, then use a teaspoon to scoop out the insides into a jug, leaving the shells intact. Arrange the shells in a small/medium baking dish in which they sit snugly.
2. Fry the onion in 2 tbsp oil in a pan over a low-medium heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the courgettes, turn the heat up slightly and cook for 5 minutes more. Then add the garlic and tomato purée, cook for a minute, stir in the reserved tomato pulp and the par-cooked rice. Simmer, stirring often, for a few minutes, until the mixture has the consistency of a loose risotto. Remove from the heat, stir in the herbs and season.
3. Spoon the rice mixture into the tomatoes, filling them generously. Replace the tomato tops, drizzle with the remaining 3 tbsp oil and bake for 1 hour, until very tender and the rice is cooked through.  

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