Tomato Dolmas

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 very firm summer tomatoes (about 4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 5 tablespoons uncooked rice
  • ¾ pound medium-fat ground lamb shoulder or breast, or ground chuck
  • 1 cup loosely packed chopped basil
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
  • ¾ cup meat stock or water

How to make Tomato Dolmas

  1. Cut off the stem ends of tomatoes, wash and drain. Remove the pulp, making a case of the shell. Reserve both the tomato shells and pulp.
  2. Heat the butter in a saucepan and cook the onions until soft.
  3. Add hot water and rice; cover and simmer until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. Put the rice, meat, basil, spices, and tomato pulp in a bowl.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly by hand.
  6. Stuff the tomatoes with the mixture.
  7. Place the dolmas in a heavy shallow pan. Dot with butter, if desired, and add the meat stock or water, cover, and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until the meat filling is done.
  8. As the dolmas cook, add some water if necessary.
  9. Serve hot.
  10. ENJOY!

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