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This is the classic stuffed tomato (and often green peppers as well) recipe you find in every Greek taverna. It's the best recipe I've found yet. Here's the original. I've made only one tiny adjustment: I add a teaspoon or so of sugar. Other than that...I follow Aglaia Kremazi's recipe exactly. Sometimes I do stuff green peppers as well though.

Many recipes for this dish don't call for enough fresh herbs and it ends up being rather bland. So, don't skimp when it comes to the herbs here. Use exactly the amount listed. It may seem like a lot. However, this is how you're going to get that authentic taste. It's the same with the olive oil. Yes, you really do need to use an entire cup. Oh..and don't forget the fresh fennel!


12 medium, ripe but firm tomatoes

1 cup olive oil

3 cups chopped onions (In Greece red onions are the most commonly used)

1 fennel bulb, finely chopped

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Arborio rice (any short grain rice will do)

2.5 cups of extracted tomato pulp, chopped

1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 cup dill, chopped

½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

1-2 teaspoons of sugar

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt or to taste

Plenty of freshly ground black pepper

One medium potato, halved crosswise, each piece quartered


Preheat the oven to 375F

Choose a 2½ inch deep pan that just holds the tomatoes, without leaving much space between them (for example a 14X9 ½ inch oval ovenproof glass dish). Place the tomatoes stem side up and with sharp serrated knife cut the top off each tomato, without detaching it completely. Using a grapefruit spoon remove the pulp very carefully. Take out as much pulp as possible without damaging the skin. Chop the pulp, measure the 2½ cups you need, and freeze the rest for future use.

In a deep skillet warm 2/3 cup olive oil and sautee the onion and fennel bulb for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the rice and sautee, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Pour in 2 cups of tomato pulp and reduce the heat. Cook stirring for another 3 minutes. Add the sugar, parsley, dill and mint and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add salt and plenty of pepper.

Stuff the tomatoes with the rice, leaving a little room for the stuffing to expand, and cover with the tops. Place the potato pieces in the gaps between the tomatoes. Pour the rest of the tomato pulp in the pan and drizzle the tomatoes with the reserved olive oil. Sprinkle the potatoes and the tomatoes with salt and pepper and bake for 1-1.5 hour.

Turn off the heat and let stand in the oven another 10 minutes, then let cool completely, to room temperature before serving.