The last of summer's bounty, sun-ripened tomatoes are absolutely divine. With options for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, this recipe is a surefire crowd-pleaser.
- Prep time 40 minutes
- Total time 1 hour & 50 minutes
- Portion size 6 servings
Slice tops off tomatoes (about 1/2 inch thick); reserve. Over bowl, using melon baller or spoon, gently hollow out tomatoes, being careful not to puncture the skin. Chop 1 cup of tomato flesh and set aside in large bowl. (Save remaining flesh and juice for another use; see tip.) Sprinkle inside of tomatoes with salt. On paper towel-lined baking sheet, place tomatoes, cut side down, and let stand 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and sausage meat and continue cooking, stirring and breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
Transfer sausage mixture to large bowl with reserved tomato flesh. Add rice, parsley, olives, lemon zest and oregano. Mix gently; season with pepper.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Pat tomatoes dry with paper towel and transfer to 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Gently spoon rice filling into tomatoes (to prevent tomatoes from cracking during cooking, do not overfill). Cover stuffed tomatoes with reserved tops and drizzle with remaining oil. Bake until tomatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. (Make-ahead: Can be stored in airtight container and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen up to 2 months.)
Change it up: VEGAN STUFFED TOMATOES
Omit sausages. Replace with one 340 g package pre-cooked plant-based protein (such as Yves Veggie Ground Round). Add 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp crushed fennel seeds and 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes.
Test Kitchen Tip: Avoid wasting the juice and remaining tomato flesh by turning it into sauce. In blender, purée tomato juice and flesh. Pour into saucepan and add 1 tbsp each olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and 1 tsp maple syrup; season with salt and pepper. Simmer over medium-low heat, about 15 minutes. Strain through fine sieve, if desired. Serve with stuffed tomatoes.
Nutritional facts PER SERVING: about
- Iron 2 mg
- Fibre 3 g
- Sodium 500 mg
- Sugars 19 g
- Protein 12 g
- Calories 285
- Total fat 18 g
- Cholesterol 40 mg
- Saturated fat 5 g
- Total carbohydrate 19 g