WILD RICE STUFFED TOMATOES
1 (4.3 oz.) box long grain & wild rice, cook according to directions on box, 4 firm Beefsteak tomatoes, 1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese, 2 tablespoons lemon zest, 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro, 1/2 cup flat leaf chopped parsley, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 chopped baby portabella mushrooms,1/2 cup finely crushed Italian flavored croutons, 6sprigs fresh parsley.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On the bottom of each tomato slice off a very thin slice. This step allows the tomatoes to sit flat. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally. Using a spoon or melon scoop remove the seeds. Lightly season the inside of the tomato with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Turn the tomatoes upside down on a wire rack to allow them to drain. Set aside.
In a bowl add the croutons, cheese and parsley mix well, set aside. Prepare the rice according to the directions on the box. Allow the rice to cool. While the rice is cooling add 2tablespoons of salted butter to a heavy skillet,. When the butter melts add lemon zest, cilantro, parsley, cloves, half the cheese, and the mushrooms. Add the rice, stir together. Place the stuffed tomatoes into a baking dish. Fill the tomatoes with the rice mixture. As the tomatoes cook, the stuffing will shrink, as it goes down fill it back up. Approximately 10 minutes into the baking remove from the oven and top off the tomatoes with the bread crumbs, cheese, and chopped parsley. Return to the oven, when the cheese melts and the top is toasty brown it’s time to eat stuffed tomatoes!