On this very day, one year ago I was flying back from Médoc, France where I spent the better half of a week learning French cuisine. With the Facebook, memories popping up in our feeds my friends and I have been reminiscing about our time spent in the French countryside. I felt this day needed a little celebrating, and what better way to celebrate the anniversary of a culinary adventure...make something I picked up while in France. Tomatoes farçies à la Provençale was the first recipe that came to mind.
The decision on what to make was an easy one! My husband and I grow tomatoes and right now they are coming off the vine at record speed! To say I have an abundance would be an understatement.
TOMATES FARÇIES ‘À LA PROVENÇALE’ translates to Tomatoes Stuffed in Provence. To read Mimi Thorisson's beautiful story and memory of this dish visit her blog.
Mimi's original recipe calls for pork sausage, I've made it this way several times but I've also used ground turkey and ground chuck. Replace meat with a mix of your favorite vegetables and rice, cooked quinoa or farro for a vegetarian version.
5 large tomatoes
5 good quality pork sausages
1/2 cup hazelnuts (ground)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp mustard
1 large egg
salt & pepper
1 tsp thyme
A large handful of parsley, finely chopped
2 slices stale bread soaked in 1/3 C milk
1 1/2 Cups of plain breadcrumbs (if I don’t have time to make my own, I like to use panko bread crumbs)
5 tbsp olive oil (2 for roasting pan, 3 to drizzle on top of breadcrumbs)
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Slice the top part of the tomato, as if you were slicing off the ‘hat’ part. Gently scoop out the tomato pulp and place the tomato upside down on a plate, lined with a paper towel, to drain for 10 minutes. Keep the ‘hat’ part and set aside.
If using sausage links, cut a slit in each sausage and squeeze out the meat.
Soak stale bread in a bowl with the milk. Drain off excess milk and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix crushed garlic, chopped shallots, sausage meat, mustard, egg, thyme, salt and pepper, a small handful of chopped parsley and the soaked bread. Caution - don’t go wild and over mix, stop once everything is just enough combined.
Sprinkle salt, pepper and a teaspoon of plain breadcrumbs in the bottom of each tomatoes. Fill tomatoes with the stuffing just to the top (do not over fill), add a layer of chopped hazelnut, followed by a layer of plain breadcrumbs.
Pour 2 tbsp olive oil in a baking dish or large cast iron skillet and place in the stuffed tomatoes. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on each tomato, and replace the ‘hats’ on top the tomato. Place in a pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes.
Plate and serve with your favorite vegetable.
If you make this recipe, tag #desociointhekitchen, I love to see your creations!