Monday, July 14, 2008

Roasted Tomatoes Stuffed With Herbed Bulgur

Yesterday I made roasted tomatoes stuffed with herbed bulgur. Kevin, my biggest fan, loved them, claiming that the filling was fresh and complimented the sweetness of the tomato nicely. I thought they were good, but that the filling was too delicate. Next time I will add pine nuts and Parmesan for a bit more richness and texture. Here's the recipe I'll use for the improved versions.

1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 red onion
1/2 bunch parsley
1 bunch mint
1/2 lemon
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
8 medium to large tomatoes
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a baking dish with parchment paper.

Toast bulgur in a small pot with 1 teaspoon olive oil until it starts to smell slightly nutty. Add 1 and 1/3 cups boiling water, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 17 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for another 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set a side.

Toast pine nuts in a frying pan until they are light golden brown. Remove from hot pan and pour into a mixing bowl.

Finely dice red onion. Finely chop parsley and mint. Add to the mixing bowl with the pine nuts. Add cooled bulgur, lemon, Parmesan, and remaining olive oil. Toss all ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper.*

Hollow out the tomatoes by removing the core and seeds from tomatoes. Salt the inside of the tomatoes and lightly drizzle the outside with olive oil. Fill each tomato with the herbed bulgur and place in the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional five minutes. Garnish with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan and serve.

*Note: Depending on the size of your tomatoes, you may have extra filling. Leftovers can be eaten chilled with diced fresh tomatoes.

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