Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

I love Spring – I spend a lot of my time in the garden with my dogs. While they eat green strawberries, I’m weeding and shaping. Today I picked some of the dill and mint, and decided on stuffed tomatoes. The tomato is stuffed with quinoa that’s seasoned with sauteed tomatoes and spices.

I served these as a side to steak, just 1 per person. It would make a meal, just add 1 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, to the tomatoes, before adding the quinoa.

Stuffed Tomatoes – 4 servings
1/2 cup quinoa
1 and 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
4 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons chives, minced
2 tablespoons dill, minced
2 tablespoons mint, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled feta, optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring 1 cup stock and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until stock is absorbed and grains are tender, about 20 minutes. Once cooked, removed quinoa from saucepan, set both aside. Meanwhile, slice the top off each tomato to expose the inside. Use a spoon to hollow out pulp and seeds and place in a bowl. Chop the tomato tops and add to the bowl. Set chopped tomatoes aside, and place tomato shells in an oiled baking dish.

In the saucepan the quinoa was prepared in, add 1/2 olive oil and onions, cook over medium heat until the onions are lightly browned. Add the chopped tomatoes, cook for 5 minutes. In a small sautepan, heat the other tablespoon of olive oil, add garlic and chives, and cook until fragrant. Slowly add cooked onion-tomato mixture, to garlic mixture. once all the water has cooked off, add the dill and mint, and remove from heat.

Add cooled quinoa to tomato mixture, season with salt and pepper to taste and stuff hollowed tomatoes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of stock to the oiled baking dish. Bake for 60-70 minutes.

Serve with crusty bread, and crumbled feta.

Bon Appetit! Happy Cooking!!

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Rhubarb Compote

Rhubarb! Enough said, really – it’s tart when raw, and delightfully sweet when cooked. We make this rhubarb compote, can it, and then enjoy in so many ways. For instance, this evening we had pound cake, vanilla bean ice cream, and plenty of rhubarb compote. You can serve it from the fridge, or warm it up, and pour it over whatever you like.

Rhubarb Compote – 1 cup
1 cup Shiraz red wine
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3/4 pound fresh rhubarb, cut lengthwise into 1/3′ slices, chopped

Bring Shiraz, sugar, and water to boil in a small saucepan, stir to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring often, until syrup measures about 1 cup, around 10 minutes. Add the chopped rhubarb, increase the heat to high, and cook without stirring, you can swirl the pan occasionally, until the compote thickens and syrup is slightly reduced, 4-5 minutes.

Let cool, and serve, or store in a sterilized jar. The compote will thicken slightly once it cools.

Happy Cooking!