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Published: Tuesday, 2/26/2002

Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice Pilaf

6 medium-sized ripe fresh tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1 6-ounce box long-grain and wild rice pilaf mix

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut a thin slice off the top of each tomato; discard. With a teaspoon or melon baller, scoop pulp from center into a small bowl, leaving shell intact. Lift out solid pieces and finely chop to make 2/3 cup.

Measure remaining liquid, seeds, and pulp; add enough water to equal required amount listed on the package. Cook pilaf mix according to package directions, using tomato liquid in place of water and choosing the shortest cooking time. Stir reserved chopped tomato pulp, Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in pilaf.

Spoon pilaf into tomato shells. Arrange stuffed tomatoes, sides touching, in a small baking dish. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil over tops. Bake in upper third of oven until tomatoes are tender and skins are slightly golden, about 25 minutes.

Microwave: Arrange stuffed tomatoes, sides touching in a microwavable dish. Cover lightly and microwave on high 5 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 servings

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