Sweet summer tomatoes are filled with herbed and spiced quinoa and baked with parmesan cheese for a delightful and filling side dish.
By Sasikala Balaraman
With a dozen rip tomatoes staring at me, I decided it was time to take a page from Giada and make stuffed tomatoes. And, I am so glad that I tried the recipe – it was a hit!
You must try this recipe for two reasons. First, this recipe is so easy to make. You can actually prep the tomatoes and the stuffing well ahead, just assemble and bake whenever needed. Second, this is one great fancy dish, which is nutritious and also filling, that you can bring to a party as an entree or a side.
Though, my recipe has freshly cooked quinoa, sautéed with onion, peppers & tomatoes, you could also use leftover quinoa, rice (original recipe uses rice), couscous, orzo etc.
- ⅔ cup quinoa
- 6 ripe but firm beefsteak tomatoes
- 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, about ½ cup chopped shallots
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 to 4 mini peppers (mix of orange, red & yellow peppers), about ½ cup chopped peppers
- 3 tbsp chopped basil
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ⅛ cup mozzarella cheese
- ⅛ cup parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Lightly coat an 8 inch square baking dish with a tsp of oil. Cut a ½ inch thick slice off the top of each tomato. Reserve the tops. Scoop and reserve the pulp and juice from each into a small bowl. Place the hollowed tomatoes in the prepared dish.
- Wash quinoa, cook with double the quantity of water and let it cool. When cold, fluff up quinoa using a fork.
- Heat a tbsp of oil. When hot, add chopped onion, garlic, chopped bell pepper, dried basil & dried oregano.
- When onion and bell peppers turns soft, add the reserved tomato pulp & juice and cook until the mixture thickens, about 10 mins. To this, add fluffed up quinoa, salt, pepper, chopped basil, mozzarella & parmesan cheese and give it a good toss. Taste to adjust salt & pepper.
- Spoon the quinoa mixture into the hollowed tomatoes mounding slightly. Replace the reserved tops and bake until the quinoa is heated through, about 20 to 25 mins.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.