Monday, April 27, 2009

Stuffed Tomatoes

This is a recipe my wife and I discovered when toying with veganism (which was ultimately a failure - although we did pick up some good additional food.) Anyway, it was nice enough that it's been kept around and we still make it from time to time. The original recipe has you bake it in the oven, which is good...but to take it to a whole new level I highly recommend doing this over charcoal with some hickory wood chips for extra flavor. If you take the BBQ approach you don't want terribly hot coals, so either cook something else first or don't place the tomatoes over direct heat.

  • 1/2 cup of orzo pasta (the small stuff that looks like rice)
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes (such as beefsteak)
  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts, briefly toasted in hot skillet
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped basil leaves

Cook the orzo according to instructions. Drain and rinse in cold water till chilled so it will keep without sticking together.

Whilst the orzo is cooking, slice the top off each of the tomatoes and then scoop out the insides using a spoon. Chop the tomato pulp and place it in a mixing bowl. Add the pine nuts, orzo, garlic, parsley and basil. Season with some salt and black pepper then mix well.

Stuff each of the tomatoes with the mixture, top with previously removed slice and drizzle with some olive oil.

If cooking in an oven, have it preheated to 375 degrees F, place on a foil covered baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. If cooking on the BBQ, use your skill and judgment... :-)

Once cooked, serve with a generous amount of yellow pepper coulis which can be made as follows: fry one chopped onion and 3 chopped yellow bell peppers in a little olive oil. After 5 minutes add half a cup of water and some salt and pepper. Simmer until very soft, perhaps 15 - 20 minutes. Add more water if necessary. When done puree in a blender.

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