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Saturday, August 30, 2008

End of Season Tomatoes: Recipe

It's often said that there is nothing more delicious than a homegrown tomato. And when you have an abundance of them, as most of us do who grow them, you begin to wonder how you can possibly consume them all. How much sauce or fresh mozzarella and tomato can a person consume?

Here is an interesting idea. This was different and wonderful - almost like the inside of a stuffed mushroom, only much better. Stuffed peppers can be a difficult dish to carry-off as the peppers can overwhelm the filling and the peppers themselves can be tasted for hours after consuming them. But this was a perfect use for the tomato and of course, the tomato was perfect since it was grown right in my backyard. Come fall, if you still have some tomatoes left, you can stuff them with ground beef or other fillings - they seem to be the perfect carrying case.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Andouille Sausage
6 medium-large tomatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil + 3 Tbsp. for drizzling
1 Tablespoon Ouzo
2 Andouille Sausage links (about 8 oz), diced
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, diced
3 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

With a serrated knife, cut a circle into the tops of the tomatoes and scrape out the seeds. Let stand upside down to drain juices. Pour off juice before using.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pan, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat and add onions. Saute onion about 6 minutes over medium heat and add the shallot. Saute another 3 minutes and then add the garlic. Saute another 2 minutes. Add the sausage and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the ouzo and saute for about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add olives and parsley; allow mixture to cool about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the cheese and the bread crumbs. Mix together bread crumb mixture and sausage mixture until moist and well integrated. Spoon mixture evenly into tomatoes. Place tomatoes into an oven proof dish and drizzle remaining oil over the tomatoes and the mixture. Cook about 30 minutes and serve hot.

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