Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Stuffed Tomato

The tomato ranks as one of my top 5 favorite vegetables -- yes, I know it's technically a fruit but I think of it as a vegetable -- so when I saw some jumbo beefsteak tomatoes at Fresh & Easy priced at just $1.99 for a 4-pack, I had to buy some so that I could stuff 'em!

Beautiful beefsteak tomatoes!

The great thing about this dish is that it's so versatile. You can stuff it with a meat and rice mixture or a rice and vegetable mixture. You can also use other grains like barley or quinoa, beans, orzo, couscous or whatever you have on hand. I chose to use brown rice and since I had a small piece of broccoli I wanted to use up, it went into this dish too. This is also a pretty healthy dish and aside from a teaspoon or so of olive oil which I had used to saute the broccoli, there is no other fat in it. If you love tomatoes, you'll enjoy this dish!

Serves 4 as an appetizer or light lunch.

4 large beefsteak tomatoes
1-1/2 cups of brown rice, cooked
1 tbsp. of minced garlic
1 cup of broccoli, chopped into small pieces
2 tbsp. of grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup of diced tomato flesh and juice
1/2 tsp. dried Italian herb seasoning
1 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Saute the broccoli in a tsp. of olive oil until tender.
You can also steam them if you want to do away with the fat.

Cut the tops off the tomatoes (about 1/4" thick).

Using a small knife, cut along the wall of the
tomato to loosen up the septa and seeds

Pull everything out of the tomato so that it is completely hollow.
Reserve some of the tomato flesh and juices to be used in this recipe.
You can make salsa with the remaining tomato flesh and
juices or save it for another recipe.

Mix the cooked brown rice, chopped tomato (with reserved juice),
sauteed broccoli, garlic,  dried Italian herbs and 1 tbsp. of grated
Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the rice mixture into the "tomato bowls" and top with more
Parmesan cheese. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for
20 minutes then broil them for another 5 to 10 minutes until the
cheese is golden brown.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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