Stuffed Tomatoes

A hearty and satisfying meal for those not-too-ripe tomatoes. They're stuffed with mushrooms, zucchini, ground beef, sausage, onions, garlic, and parsley. Save the stem for decoration when serving. As there were three of us for dinner, I halved the following recipe with perfect results.

All stuffed and ready for the oven.

All stuffed and ready for the oven.



6 large tomatoes, not too ripe
1-1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
2 T. potato starch dissolved in 2 T. water
2 c. baby bella mushrooms, washed, cubed and coarsley chopped
2 c. zucchini (about 2 small ones), cubed and coarsely chopped
1/2 c. roughly chopped onion
2 garlic gloves, cut in thirds
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley or minced chives, plus 2 T. for garnish
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. ground beef
8 oz. hot Italian sausage, casings removed

Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

Remove the stems of the tomatoes and reserve for decoration. Cut a 3/4" slice from the stem end of each tomato and using a metal measuring spoon, hollow out each tomato leaving a 1/2" to 3/4" thick shell. Put the slices of tomato and scooped out insides in a food processor. Add 1/2 tsp. of the salt, the olive oil, and the potato starch and process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, a few minutes. Strain through a food mill and set aside.

Put the mushrooms, zucchini, onion, garlic, parsley, and jalapeño in the food processor and pulse until chopped. In a large bowl add this mixture to the ground beef and sausage, add the remaining 3/4 tsp. salt and the pepper and mix well with your hands. Arrange the tomatoes, hollow side up, in a gratin dish and fill with the stuffing mix (about 1 cup per tomato). Put the stems on top for decoration. Pour the sauce around the tomatoes and bake for 1 hour.

Serve with some of the sauce drizzled over and around the tomato and sprinkle with 2 T. of chopped parsley or chives.

– Jacques Pépin, "Heart & Soul in the Kitchen"