Caputo’s Potatoes With Stuffed Tomatoes

4 small potatoes, cooked in salted water until just tender, cooled, peeled & sliced
2/3 cup Arborio rice, cooked in salted water until al dente, drain well
6 large tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 T fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
1 T fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
10 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig fresh fennel blossom, buds only (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice off the stem ends of the tomatoes, reserve. Very gently scoop out the seeds form the cavities and place in a strainer, reserve the juice. Transfer the rice to a bowl and add the garlic and herbs and salt and pepper, mix well. Stuff the tomato mixture into the tomatoes. Spoon over a little of the reserved tomato juice into each tomato, drizzle each with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Oil the bottom of a large baking dish and arrange the potatoes in a layer over the bottom. Season with salt and pepper sprinkle the fennel buds over all. Place the tomatoes on the potatoes and place the reserved caps back on the tomatoes.

Bake the tomatoes and potatoes in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are golden. Serve hot warm or at room temperature.

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