Stuffed Tomatoes (serves 4)

Stuffed Tomatoes (serves 4)

This recipe just came to me for some bizarre reason when I was cooking my vegetable curry yesterday. The first time I had stuffed tomatoes was when I was an au pair in France. The mother was thrilled when she knew I could cook as she hated cooking. She taught me her recipes and then I made them on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. So alongside stuffed tomatoes, there was (naturally) quiche, steak hache and sometimes tartare, roast chicken (and when we vacationed in Scotland it was roast rabbit!). There must have been other dishes in her repertoire but other than soup in an alarming pressure cooker, I don’t remember them.

Her stuffed tomatoes contained ground beef, rice, tomato and parsley. Mine contain chicken sausage, onion, garlic, tomato, spinach, quinoa and the secret ingredient, Dijon Mustard. I deconstructed the chicken sausage (Al Fresco brand, though it did contain the dreaded ‘natural flavors’ (somehow they are not artificial ingredients!)) i.e. took off the skin and chopped them up. The stuffed tomatoes looked quite jaunty as they went in the oven as I popped the top of the tomato on the stuffing like a hat! I stuffed 4 large tomatoes but could have stuffed 6 if I needed to. As I fed these to the children I looked after in France, these might appeal to children everywhere.

1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 of a large onion – finely chopped

1 large clove of garlic – finely chopped

4 large, ripe tomatoes – tops cut off, insides put in a bowl and chopped up

2 x chicken sausages – skinned and chopped into little pieces

1/2 cup of cooked quinoa

5 oz baby spinach – cooked and chopped

2 teasp. Dijon mustard

Heat seasoned oil in a skillet, when sizzling add onion and garlic and soften.

In a bowl put the insides of the tomatoes, the softened onions and garlic, chopped chicken sausage, quinoa, chopped spinach and the mustard. Mix together well.

Fill the tomato shells with the mixture, top with a ‘hat’ of tomato.

Cook in oven for 30 minutes.

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