Stuffed tomatoes

My mom and I made these while Tim and I were home visiting and they were a huge hit with everyone-rare in that crowd! With the rice and meat they are surprisingly filling. Don’t be intimidated by the somewhat long ingredients list-it’s pretty much a throw-everything-into-a-bowl type of recipe. The only part that was kind of a pain was scooping out the tomatoes, but we made 12 so I have a slightly skewed view! I used a melon baller and it worked out really well. Let me know what you think!

4 servings

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces 90%-lean ground beef, or 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice, or 1/2 cup instant brown rice
  • 4 large ripe but firm tomatoes, (about 8 ounces each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup petite green peas, (cooked, if fresh; thawed, but not cooked, if frozen)
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, made from day-old whole-wheat bread (see Tip)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350Ā° F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook ground beef or turkey in a small skillet over medium-high heat, crumbling with a spoon, until brown and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. If using cooked rice, go to Step 4. To prepare instant brown rice, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in rice, return to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  4. Add cooked rice to the bowl with the meat.
  5. Meanwhile, slice enough off the top of each tomato to remove the core (1/2 to 1 inch). Scoop out the tomato pulp using a teaspoon or melon baller. Finely chop 1/2 cup of the pulp and add to the bowl with the rice and meat. (Reserve the remaining pulp for another use; see Kitchen Tips.) Season the inside of the tomatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  6. Add peas, onion, 1/4 cup cheese, parsley, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to the rice mixture. Stir to combine. Divide the mixture evenly among the tomatoes and place the tomatoes in the prepared baking dish. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, breadcrumbs, oil and garlic in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the tomatoes.
  7. Bake the tomatoes until the crumbs are golden and the tomatoes are soft, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: To make fresh breadcrumbs: Trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice makes about 1/3 cup.
  • Kitchen Tip: Save the scooped-out tomato pulp to use in fresh tomato soup or pasta sauce. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Nutrition

Per serving: 355 calories; 16 g fat ( 5 g sat , 7 g mono ); 35 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrates; 20 g protein; 6 g fiber; 639 mg sodium; 695 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (90% daily value), Calcium (25% dv), Potassium (20% dv), Iron (15% dv).

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