I always find it funny that in September, talk turns to fall and all the produce that comes with it. I too am ready for cooler weather but I’m not ready to give up tomatoes. I’ll still happily be cooking up a storm of summer produce until I can’t (because there’s plenty of time for sweet potatoes).
I do, however, find myself trending towards meals that could serve as a packed lunch or a beautiful, simple dinner. Plus, I was able to pick up dry-farmed local tomatoes for this recipe, taking the flavor over the top.
Lundberg Family Farms
I’m excited to partner with Lundberg Family Farms for this recipe. A couple years ago I had the opportunity to visit a rice harvest with Lundberg and it reinforced what I already knew: they are a good company that is committed to preserving the land for future generations all while making a wonderful product.
If you scroll back through all the recipes on the site with rice, you’ll notice I’m a bit obsessed with Lundberg Family Farms Organic Short Grain Brown Rice. This whole grain rice has the perfect soft texture with just a bit of stickiness, which is essential when making grain bowls and pilafs. Plus, knowing Lundberg Family Farms commitment to high quality rice makes this dish extra special.
Make this a Meal
I kept this light because I wanted to be able to move in a few different directions with it. This tomato pilaf, as is, is a delightful, easy dinner. The short grain brown rice helps cling to the tomatoes, the walnuts/herbs bring the dish together, and chickpeas bring the protein.
I love serving this pilaf with a side of roasted vegetables (depending on the time of the season it could be green beans or it could be roasted sweet potatoes). And, I’m usually serving this with a big salad.
Tomato Rice Pilaf with Chickpeas
omato Rice Pilaf with Chickpeas
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:45 minutes
Total Time:1 hour
Yield:2 to 3 servings
½ cup Lundberg Family Farms Organic Brown Rice, uncooked
1 ½ pounds smaller slicing tomatoes (see note)
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
¼ cup toasted walnuts
½ cup lightly packed basil
Zest from half a lemon
1 clove garlic, grated
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ounce Buratta or feta
Combine the brown rice with 1 cup of water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover until the rice has absorbed the water and is tender; about 45 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, core and cut the tomatoes; place in a bowl.
Place the walnuts on a cutting board and start to chop. Add the basil, lemon zest, and grated garlic. Continue to chop the mixture together, as if you were making a gremolata. Place in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, and enough olive oil to bring the mixture together.
Once the rice is done, transfer it to the bowl with the tomatoes along with the walnut-basil mixture and chickpeas. Add any cheese you might like and serve with some fresh black pepper.
I used dry-farmed tomatoes which are just a bit bigger than a golf-ball. I’d recommend tomatoes that are still a bit firm too.
I did not like tomatoes as a child. My mom grew tomatoes in our garden and I always turned up my nose at them. What a missed opportunity to enjoy something so delicious! As an adult with my own garden, I was excited to grow a big harvest this summer. Unfortunately, both tomato plants died before they produced any fruit! If you’re lucky enough to have a homegrown bounty of fresh tomatoes still warm from the summer sun, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad.
In fact, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad even if you don’t have a vegetable garden. That is, unless you’ve discovered this recipe in the dead of winter and all you can find are bland greenhouse tomatoes. In that case, bookmark this page and come back in summer when tomatoes have the absolute best flavor. I used pearl tomatoes on the vine for this recipe because they’re the perfect bite size when sliced into quarters. Feel free to use whatever tomatoes you have on hand!
This marinated tomato and avocado salad is a fantastic summer recipe whether you’re barbecuing at home or headed out for a picnic. The tomatoes can chill in the fridge while you prep the rest of your feast, making this a really simple recipe to prepare if you’re in charge of multiple dishes. Dice and add the avocado just before serving for the best results.
While incredibly fresh and delicious on its own, there are many ways you can bulk up this marinated tomato and avocado salad if you need to feed a crowd. Try adding cooked quinoa, couscous, or farro. Or, turn it into a pasta salad by adding cooked and cooled shells or penne. I have big plans to spread this salad on crusty bread for a bruschetta-inspired appetizer.
1 or 2 ripe avocados, diced (depending on your preference and the size of your avocados)
⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
Quarter the pearl tomatoes and place them in a large bowl. Peel the red onion and cut it in half from tip to root. Place the flat part of the onion on your cutting board and carefully slice it into thin half moons. Add the onion to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Combine the chopped garlic, lime juice, olive oil, agave, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. The marinade should be salty, tangy, and just a tad sweet – adjust the ingredients until balanced.
Pour the marinade over the sliced tomatoes and onion and gently toss to coat. Marinate the tomatoes in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Just before serving, drain any excess liquid from the tomatoes. Tip: if you’re serving this salad with cooked quinoa, couscous, or pasta, reserve the marinade for extra dressing. Transfer the marinated tomatoes and onions to a serving platter and add the diced avocado. Top with chopped cilantro and serve fresh.