READY IN: 1hr 45mins




  • Oil a 13 x 5 inch baking pan. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Place the olive oil into a pot on medium heat.
  • Add the sliced onion, stirring unti lightly browned.
  • Add the meat, stirring until brown.
  • If you are adding cheese, stir it in now.
  • Cut the top off each tomato and set "lid" aside. (Make sure you keep the lids.).
  • Carefully scoop out tomatoes.
  • Put the tomato insides in a blender and pulse once or twice to juice. (Alternatively, they can be grated.).
  • Put half the reserved tomato juice, the rice or bulgur, and the mint in the pot with the meat/onion mixture, stir to blend.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Allow this mixture to stand 5 minutes.
  • Carefully fill each tomato with the meat/onion mixture. The total amount will vary according to the size of the tomatoes, but a 3" tomato will take 3 1/2 to 4 tablespoons.
  • Place tomatoes in the baking pan and cover each with a "lid.".
  • Place the potato pieces in the spaces between the tomatoes, poking them down around and between the tomatoes.
  • Combine the remaining tomato juice with 1/8 cup olive oil. Pour this mixture around the vegetables in the pan. (If you have less than 3-4 tablespoons of tomato juice left, add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.). Stick the garlic around in the liquid.
  • Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for an hour. Check the vegetables at this time to see if the tops are burning. If so, you could cover the pan with foil or drizzle some additional olive oil over the veg.
  • Continue baking for another 30 minutes to an hour, until potatoes are tender. Turn oven off and allow dish to sit for 15 minutes to cool slightly.
  • Remove from oven and set aside at room temperature for another 15 minutes.
  • I like the remaining juice drizzled over my vegetables and usually use the cheese, as well.
  • Add pine nuts or almonds if you like those.