To say that I have a lot of cookbooks is like saying the Kardashians take a lot of selfies. My first job out of college was as an editorial assistant in the cookbook division of HarperCollins, and there were free copies everywhere. And not just the ones that we published—every day they came in the mail. It would have been impossible to keep a copy of every single one, but Lord knows I tried, lugging them home with me on the subway, my shoulder lurching beneath the weight.
From HarperCollins, I went on to write for Serious Eats, and for a long time I wrote the Cook the Book column. Once again, I found myself amidst heaps of cookbooks. It was my job to take home a copy of each one and read it dutifully from cover to cover. Rough life, I know.
You might think, that since I have a cookbook entirely devoted to figs, and another one specifically dedicated to sundried tomatoes, that my collection is complete. But I am always on the lookout to add to it. Some people collect wine, some bowling balls (Dad). Cookbooks are my jam.
(Just to give you a little visual, what you see here is actually less than half of my library. I know… it’s a little out of hand.)
So when a publicist from St. Martin’s Press reached out to me several weeks ago and asked if I might like to post about Everyday Vegetarian by Jane Hughes, the editor of Vegan Life magazine, I said yes please.
What I like best about Jane’s cookbook is that it’s organized by season, and the recipes are simple and have short ingredient lists—every single one seemed totally doable. There are a bunch I want to try (hello, walnut and avocado risotto) but as soon as I saw these vegan stuffed tomatoes I knew I had to make them immediately.
Filled with rice, kalamata olives, and fresh herbs (I used parsley, but basil, dill, or tarragon would also be lovely), these tomatoes would make an elegant lunch entrée or even a light summer dinner paired with a green salad or some roasted asparagus.
The best news? I’m giving away one copy of Everyday Vegetarian! Just tell me in the comments: what is your favorite summer tomato dish? I’ll pick a winner next week!
PPS: I know the comments function was messed up before, but it’s fixed now, so come on! Comment! xo
Vegan Stuffed Tomatoes
- 6 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives chopped
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup basmati rice
- White wine vegetable broth, or water
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking dish large enough to hold the tomatoes snugly (I used a 9-inch deep dish pie plate).
Slice the top quarter off of each tomato and set the tops aside. Working over a strainer set over a bowl, use a melon baller to carefully scoop out the flesh and juice. If you have any large chunks of tomato flesh, coarsely chop it.
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato flesh, olives, and parsley. Stir in the rice.
Measure the reserved tomato juice and add enough white wine, vegetable broth, or water to equal 2/3 cup. Add the liquid to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the rice is just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the tomato "cups" in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the rice mixture into the cups and cover with the tomato tops. Bake until the tomatoes are just beginning to wilt, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.