If you haven’t stuffed a tomato yet, do it now.
I mean it. Before those big, beautiful heirlooms are out of season, stuff some tomatoes!
The garden at the QV household has been turning out some pretty delicious tomatoes, but the ones coming from my dad’s garden really take the (vegan) cake. It wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to say that some of the tomatoes he’s brought over were as big as my face. And they just keep coming. Last week he and my mom harvested eighty-eight pounds in one go. I know; I’m having a hard time believing it myself.
Obviously, we can’t eat that many tomatoes all at once. Most of them I’ve been putting up either by freezing them whole or slicing, roasting and freezing them for use in chilis and such over the winter. Others have been shared with friends and neighbors. But I’ve reserved some for eating, and what better to do with a big ol’ heirloom tomato than stuff it?
I must confess that, despite having good tomato harvests in the past, I’d never done this before. I’ve looked at recipes and contemplated the idea, but never got around to doing it. Where better to turn to for my first-ever stuffed tomato experiment than 1,000 Vegan Recipes? I always figure, with that many recipes, there’s bound to be something. Lo and behold, there was more than one something! Like a good little Italian, I chose the spaghetti-stuffed tomatoes.
As you can see, I used whole wheat linguine instead of spaghetti, but the concept remains the same. A little homemade tomato sauce with garlic, herbs and sundried tomatoes, a little pasta, toss it all together and stuff it into the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes you can find. There was even a garnish of ground walnuts, which I found interesting. I’d expect a dish like this to use nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan, but the walnuts added something that neither of those would have. I can’t put my finger on exactly what, but having a bit of a crunch with the natural oils from the nuts rather than a cheesy flavor was a tasty difference. The whole dish was sort of like eating an inside-out plate of linguine–with the tomato on the outside instead of on top!
Since summer squash and zucchini show up in just as much abundance as tomatoes this time of year, I sauteed some slices of both with a little garlic and Italian seasoning to go along with the tomatoes. A big green salad would have made a great accompaniment as well. After cooking and eating this whole meal, I can’t believe I never tried stuffed tomatoes before. They’re easy and fun to make, and I can’t imagine anything else tasting quite like a warm, soft baked tomato with Italian spices. Mmm…
Seriously. Stuff some tomatoes.
How are you enjoying heirloom tomatoes this year?