Stuffed Summer Tomatoes

This is the perfect recipe for summer tomatoes, stuffed with zucchini and mushrooms. It's still too hot to turn on the oven. I'd rather have a cool salad of refreshing vegetables anyway! It was surprisingly easy to transport – stuff and store stuffing side up in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


4 firm tomatoes
1-1/4 c. diced (1/4-inch) white mushrooms
1-1/4 c. diced (1/4-inch) zucchini
1/3 c. chopped red onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/3 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. diced (1/4-inch) baguette
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 T. olive oil
2 tsp. red wine vinegar

1/3 c. diced red onion
1/3 c. diced kalamata olives (or 16 pitted olives)
crumbled feta cheese
olive oil
Fleur de sel or coarse salt
4 sprigs fresh basil

Put the tomatoes in boiling water for 45 seconds, drain, and peel off the skin. Cut about a 1/4-inch slice from the stem end of each tomato and dice those slices for garnish.

Hollow out the tomatoes, removing the flesh, seeds and juice, which I did very carefully because the tomatoes I used were fairly ripe and not hard, so be careful! A serrated spoon would have worked well I think.

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees. Spread the diced mushrooms and zucchini on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 3-4 minutes to sweat and soften (I assume you could use a microwave for this step but I don't own one!). Transfer the softened veggies to a bowl and stir in the onion, garlic, walnuts, bread, salt, pepper, oil, and vinegar. Mix well and spoon the stuffing into the hollowed out tomatoes. Refrigerate, stuffing side up, until ready to serve.

To serve, place the tomatoes stuffed side down on the plate and scatter the reserved diced tomatoes and garnishes around the plate and sprinkle with the olive oil and fleur de sel. Poke a tiny hole in the top of the tomato (I used a toothpick) and insert a basil sprig, and serve.

– Jacques Pépin, "More Fast Food My Way"