This 6-Ingredient Rice Dish Is Our New Favorite Way to Eat Tomatoes
Priya Krishna's easy recipe puts that garden haul to delicious use.
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Garden overflowing with tomatoes? Simply bought too many at the farmers market? We have just the solution — and we're confident even the self-proclaimed tomato haters at the table won't complain a bit.
Cookbook author and food writer Priya Krishna calls her Tomato Rice with Crispy Cheddar "the ultimate comfort food," and we have to agree. It's essentially pizza in rice form, with a gooey layer of tomatoes on the bottom, beautiful basmati rice and a bubbling layer of cheese on top.
"If there's anything that's going to get kids to eat their dinner, this is dish," Priya says in her class on the Food Network Kitchen app.
When Priya was in middle school, she and her mom made a Spanish rice recipe — and it reminded her mom of Indian tomato rice. They decided to make, Priya recalls, a "hybridized version," and because her mom had two kids to feed, they threw in some cheese.
"If you cover it with cheese, people will eat it, almost guaranteed," Priya says.
This recipe is quite customizable, and you can switch it up with just about any ingredients you have on hand. Throw in some vegetables to make it more nutritious; if you don't like spice, replace the Indian green chile with a bell pepper, she suggests. You can even make it ahead, freeze, thaw, then toss in the oven.
But if you want to stick with Priya's recipe, you need only six ingredients — and the 10 Roma tomatoes are a must. (See? We told you this was the perfect way to use up that tomato haul!)
They add fresh flavor to the rich rice, Priya says, and a level of brightness that Indian food absolutely needs. Can you use diced, canned tomatoes? You can. But we're in the height of tomato season, and there's no time like the present to make the most of that acidity and tang that only fresh tomatoes can provide.
"Take the time and chop your 10 tomatoes. Also, you can do something fun: Listen to a podcast. Watch some Netflix," she says.
Once you've chopped all your tomatoes, spoon them along with the rice into a baking dish, then top with as much Cheddar as you want. Priya likes a nice thick layer, which we fully support.
Broiling, not baking, gives the finished dish its crispy and golden-brown top, the perfect finishing touch for all the mouthwatering tomatoes underneath.
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