Back in October I was lucky enough to marry my best friend. He is such a wonderful guy and is always supportive, especially when it comes to my cooking! I have been known to whip up some interesting dishes that many might not be as open to trying, but he is always there with his fork and a compliment. This type of support is great because it gives me the freedom to experiment but there is something to be said to sticking to a recipe.
Lately when I am looking for healthy and accessible, weeknight recipes I have been turning to a cookbook we received as a wedding gift. It’s called Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and it’s by Deborah Madison, a wonderful chef and longtime friend of Oldways. Beyond loving her recipes, I love her food philosophy, which is all about connecting people to the food they eat. Since our wedding, my husband and I have enjoyed several of the recipes from her cookbook, one of which is this simple – yet satisfying – recipe for tomatoes stuﬀed with herbed grains. After the Thanksgiving holiday this dinner was an especially welcome treat.
I think these tomatoes would be a great side with chicken or ﬁsh but I served them as the main meal with a salad and enjoyed every last bite. Deborah oﬀers suggestions for grains in her recipe as well as the selection of herbs and nuts you can include. I chose quinoa and paired it with parsley, fresh basil and pine nuts.
4 ripe but ﬁrm tomatoes (medium to large)
1 cup cooked rice or couscous or quinoa or other grain (preferably whole)
½ cup toasted pine nuts or chopped toasted almonds
2 garlic cloves — minced
3 tablespoons ﬁnely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons ﬁnely chopped dill or basil
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly milled pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
—Preheat the oven to 375°F.
—Cut the tops oﬀ the tomatoes (see photo).
—Scoop out the pulp, chop it, and mix it with the quinoa, nuts, garlic, herbs, and cheese.
—Season mix well with salt and pepper and ﬁll the tomatoes with it.
—Replace the tops, brush them with oil, and set the tomatoes closely together in a small, oiled baking dish.
—Bake until the ﬁlling is hot, about 25 minutes. Carefully remove the tomatoes with a spatula to a serving plate. Enjoy!