- Wash the tomatoes and peppers if using.
- Slice the top off the first tomato & scoop out the contents with a spoon, leaving it to one side. Sprinkle the inside of the tomato with a little sugar.
- Place the hollowed tomato with its lid in a large shallow baking tray & repeat with the remaining tomatoes. If using peppers then again slice the top off, clean out the seeds & discard, then place the pepper with its lid into the baking tray.
- Heat ½ a cup of oil in a deep frying pan and cook the onions until soft, then add the garlic – cooking for a few minutes more.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir until coated in oil. Next add approximately 1 cup of hot water, followed by the chopped tomato, the herbs, seasoning, currants and/or pine nuts if using. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- Fill the tomatoes with the cooked mix, leaving room for the rice to expand and replace the lids.
- Fit the potatoes into any spaces left in the baking tray. Add enough water to just cover the base of the tray. Season with salt, pepper and any other herbs you might like to add (oregano, thyme). Pour over the rest of the olive oil.
- Cover with silver foil and place in a hot oven. After 30 minutes turn the temperature down to medium heat and cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours, checking that the potatoes are cooked and the liquid has reduced.
- Finally, uncover and cook for another 15 minutes or so, just to brown the vegetables.
- Leave to come to room temperature. Then serve with tsatsiki, feta cheese & crusty bread to dip in the juices.
Instead of frying the filling you can just mix it all together, omitting the water and not forgetting to add the olive oil. The end result is virtually the same, frying makes the rice firmer & the overall flavour slightly deeper.
This is a Spring/Summer dish, but you could mix it up and try using other vegetables such as courgettes and aubergines.
You can make this recipe adding mince meat. Simply add 250g of meat after the rice stage.