Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stuffed tomatoes

Got tomatoes? What are you going to do with those giant ones? How about making stuffed tomatoes!? You can stuff them with something cold (meaning don't bake), like chicken salad. Even better though, stuff with something warm. Just hollow out and fill the tomatoes with some good stuff, then bake until warmed through and the insides just start to bubble—about 10-15 minutes in a 400° oven, or on a hot grill with the cover closed for 10 minutes or so. Serve your stuffed tomatoes with a salad echoing the same flavors that were put into the tomato. See the rough recipes below for some ideas of what to make with the avalanche of tomatoes ripening in your back yard.

Provençal style stuffed tomatoes—Stuff with Panko breadcrumbs and minced garlic sautéed in butter and olive oil, grated Gruyere or swiss cheese, a little bit of herbs de Provençe or just parsley, salt and pepper. Grated zucchini would work with this too. (photo shown above)

Greek style stuffed tomatoes—Stuff with an orzo salad of lemon zest and oil, crumbled feta cheese, kalamata olives, baby spinach leaves, salt and pepper. Slices or crumbles of Alfresco brand spinach and feta chicken sausage would be great with this. Alternatively you could stuff with a cooked lemony white rice instead of the orzo.

New England succotash style stuffed tomatoes—Stuff with cooked corn (boiled or grilled), slices of uncooked red or orange bell pepper, chopped fresh basil, red onions, grated cheddar cheese, lima beans (or peas), lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Diced zucchini would work in this tomato.

Italian style stuffed tomatoes—Stuff with cooked Italian farro, Italian parsley,  grated cheese (any of a mix of Fontina, Romano, Parmesan or Mozzarella), salt and pepper (a fennel seed infused chicken sausage would be great with this). Alternatively, a white bean salad made with lemon juice, olive oil,  and fried sage leaves would pair well.

Spanish style stuffed tomatoes—Stuff with cooked Spanish rice infused with pimenton (smoked paprika), a crumbled slice of bacon, red onion, pignoli nuts, salt and pepper Alfresco brand chorizo chicken sausage would be great with this. Perhaps a shaving of Manchego cheese as well.

Tex-Mex style stuffed tomatoes—Stuff with cooked black beans, corn, avocado, cilantro, scallions and cumin, lime juice, salt and pepper. Slices or crumbles of Alfresco brand jalepeño chicken sausage would be great with this.

Moroccan style stuffed tomatoes—Stuff with cooked cous-cous, sauté of onion, dried apricots, raisins, cinnamon, turmeric, honey, dash of chili pepper flakes, salt and pepper. If you happen to have Moroccan preserved lemons, this would be a lovely flavor chopped and added in. Top with crushed pistachio nuts or almonds.

Lebonese style stuffed tomatoes—Stuff with prepared tabbouleh, which is a salad of bulgar wheat, cucumbers, red onion, mint, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. You can add some feta cheese as well.

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