This was another stuffed vegetable dish where I made too much stuffing...so glad I did - yum!  I could barely stop eating the extra from the bowl.  It will be great tomorrow with some veggies in a salad for lunch.  This is a wonderful side dish to any Vegetarian, Meat, or Fish dish.  I actually ate these alone, and thought I would be hungry, but so was not!  Really satisfying.  Here is the left over finished stuffing mix:

4-6 Fresh tomatoes, halved, seeds scraped out, and reserved
water - added to the tomato seeds and liquid to reach the 1 cup level
2 minced shallotts
Olive Oil
1/2 cup of Quinoa
1 cup of tomato liquid, topped up with water to reach 1 cup level
2 minced garlic cloves
6-8 crimini mushrooms, diced
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. fresh Thyme, 1 rounded tsp. fresh minced Tarragon
a big 2/3 cup finely chopped Feta Cheese
3-4 Tblsp. Balsamic Vinegar
Parmesan Cheese
Begin by slicing the tomatoes in half, scooping out the seeds with a spoon, transferring the seeds and liquid to a liquid measuring cup.  Salt each tomato half, and place onto a paper towel to drain.  Then I just used a potato masher to mash up any of the insides of the tomato and seeds - an immersion blender would work well. Mine had a lot of seeds and liquid, so I did not need to add too much water to reach the 1 cup level.  Add to a 1/2 cup of Quinoa in a pot, bring to the bowl, lower to a simmer, lid on, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper.
Heat up a frying pan on medium heat with a good drizzle of olive oil, and a knob of butter.  Add in the diced mushrooms, sauteing to a rich golden color.  Then add in the shallots, minced garlic, turning the heat down to low.  Saute till the shallots are transparent, season with salt and pepper.  Add in the herbs, and Balsamic Vinegar, stirring to combine, then remove from heat. Combine with the Quinoa mixture, adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Add the feta cheese to the Quinoa mixture and combine, then generously fill each tomato half.  Sprinkle the Parmesan Cheese on top of each tomato and bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, serve hot.

Ina Gawne


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October 21, 2010