As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

Bulgur and Sausage Stuffed Tomatoes

It’s not raining water, but it is raining tomatoes here in Central TX. I threw together this fairly simple meal with leftover and fresh items I had around the house last week. It’s based on Deborah Madison’s “Tomatoes Stuffed with Herbed Grains” from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. (I was lucky enough to dine with Ms. Madison last week here in Austin!)

This is how a lot of my meals start–I look at what I have available to make a meal and then I often look through my cookbooks that are organized by main ingredient/vegetable. I usually stray from the recipe a bit, adapting it to my tastes. I definitely think this is an art–not everyone can look through their fridge/pantry and whip up a meal, but I think everyone is capable of learning the art–it just takes practice like everything else.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch parsley, chopped
  • Several sprigs of fresh basil, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 cups of dry bulgur wheat
  • 5 large tomatoes (preferably homegrown or from the farmers’ mkt)
  • 3/4 cup of sausage, cooked
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Boil water. Pour water over bulgur and cover; let sit 30 minutes for grain to soak in water (water:bulgur=2:1)
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 375.
  3. Core 5 tomatoes. I found that the easiest way was to do this is by carving a circle in the top of the tomato and then use a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the flesh. Reserve the flesh.
  4. Chop the reserved tomato flesh into cubes/small pieces.
  5. Mix the bulgur, herbs, garlic, cheese, cubed tomato flesh, sausage and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper.
  6. Place the empty tomatoes in a cast-iron skillet or oven-safe dish.
  7. Stuff the tomatoes with the mixture. Any leftover mixture can be placed along the edges of the tomatoes.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.

Note: To make this dish vegetarian, feel free to substitute pine nuts or walnuts for the sausage.

If you don’t have a grapefruit spoon, a regular one will still work, it will just take a little more “umph.”

The tomatoes and mixture keep well for a great lunch the next day!

Cut a hole around the top and scoop out the flesh with a grapefruit spoon

 

Tomatoes are ready to be stuffed

 

The stuffing

 

Dinner is done!

 

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