Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Moroccan Stuffed Tomatoes Bring All the Italian Grandmothers to the Yard!

This years' tomato harvest in my garden would make an Italian grandmother weep with joy. I've been picking 25-30 pounds of heirlooms a week! Needless to say, I'm getting pretty creative in the ways to use the cute little buggers. 

Because you are hollowing out the tomatoes, you want them to be very firm, so use only those that are just not over-ripe and soft.

When you scoop out the tomato guts, there’s no reason to throw them out! I boil them down on into a tomato sauce that is a great base for pasta sauce, salsa, or many other dishes.

Prep time: 2 cocktails

1 cup raisins
3/4 cups whole, raw almonds
7 TBSP olive oil, divided
1 medium eggplant, skinned and cut into ¼-inch cubes
1 medium onion, diced
1 TBSP ras el hanout, (click here for recipe)
1 tsp dried ginger powder
1 14-ounce can fava beans or garbanzo beans, drained
1 tsp salt
1 cup of prepared brown rice
10 large tomatoes
Hard-boiled eggs (optional)

Heat a couple cups of water until almost boiling and combine the water and raisins in a soup bowl. Set aside for a little while until the raisins plump up. Then drain the water and set the raisins aside.

Preheat oven to 375. Bring three cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan on high heat. Add almonds and let them blanch until they begin to float, about 2 minutes. Remove and drain water. Allow to dry for a minute, then spread the almonds on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake the almonds, stirring every couple minutes, until they become toasted, but not burned. Remove from heat and let cool. Reduce oven heat to 300.

Heat 4 TBSP olive oil over medium heat in a large pan or wok. When warm, add eggplant. Sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion and sauté until it becomes a bit transparent, about 5 more minutes. Then add in ras el hanout and ginger. Sauté a couple more minutes, then remove from heat.

In a food processor, combine the beans, remaining oil, salt and ¼ cup of water. Puree until very smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine raisins, almonds, eggplant/onion mixture, bean mixture, and rice. Stir well.

Take the tomatoes and slice off the tops. With a spoon, scoop out the guts, being careful not to tear the walls. You can save the tomato innards and use as suggested as above. Stuff the hollowed tomatoes with the mixture. Bake on an oiled cookie sheet for about 20-30 minutes, or until the tomato skin becomes a bit wrinkled and the insides are all hot. Note that cooking time can vary significantly based on tomato size and type.

Serve with warm hard-boiled eggs that have been sliced, if desired.

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