This retro dish was inspired by a Simon Hopkinson recipe from his wonderful book, The Vegetarian Option
- 12 firm, medium tomatoes on the vine
- ½ small green pepper, deseeded, pith removed and finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- pinch dried chilli flakes
- handful flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
- 130ml (4½fl oz) olive oil
- 75g (3oz) paella or risotto rice
- 40g (1½oz) toasted pine nuts
Take the tomatoes off the vine, leaving the stalks intact. Use a small sharp knife to remove the tops, then scoop out the insides with a teaspoon and reserve.
Pulse the pepper, garlic, chilli and parsley in a food processor until the ingredients are coarsely chopped. Add the tomato pulp with 100ml (4fl oz) of the oil and pulse again until the mixture is quite liquid. Pour the liquid over the rice in a bowl, season, mix and leave to soak for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pine nuts. Heat the oven to 200 C, 180 C fan, 400 F, gas 6.
Fill the tomatoes with the rice mixture - don't overfill them but add as much liquid as you can. Place the lids lightly on the tomatoes, transfer to a baking dish, drizzle over the remaining oil and bake for around 45 minutes, until the rice is cooked. Serve warm or at room temperature with a green salad and crusty bread.