What do you do with your grain leftovers? When making a side for dinner – and my family now tolerates a lot of the new and exciting grains I cook – we often have leftovers. So we have a small supply of cooked farro, barley, quinoa, freekeh, millet, you name it. Of course, not all at once and not all the time. When we do, I try to reuse these as jazzed up (aka heated) sides for another dinner, or add them to my lunch salads. But did you notice that kids would try any food if it’s served as a cute appetizer? Now my leftover grains are the hero! For this Stuffed tomato recipe I’ve experimented with a lot of grains and I found that freekeh with its wheaty taste works best. I think millet would work fine and my last choice would be red quinoa. Some grains – barley, rice, farro – I think would be too mild here, since you need a little more of a bite to counteract the softness of tomato. I’m referring to the flesh, since I’m using a firm heirloom tomato here – that’s the only tomato requirement. Smaller roma tomatoes will work just as well. This stuffed tomato recipe feels jazzy – there are so many notes hidden in and playing as the flavors unfold – from mellow sweetness of tomato and ricotta to the crunch of freekeh, shallot and cilantro, from the salty olives, capers and feta to the even egg. You will need to have eggs and freekeh ready in advance (or allow time to cook) but the rest of the ingredients take less than 10 minutes, including all the chopping and mixing. Enjoy!
- 4 heirloom tomatoes (or any other firm and sizable tomatoes)
- 2 cups frekeh, cooked
- 2 boiled eggs
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, part skim if possible
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
1. Cook freekeh and eggs if not ready.
2. Wash and core tomatoes, scoop the flesh out (save for a homemade pasta sauce!) and set aside.
3. Fine chop shallot, eggs, cilantro and kalamata olives in a bowl. Top with 2 cups of cooked freekeh.
4. Add ricotta, feta, capers, salt, pepper and paprika to the bowl, mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings.
5. Put a scoop or more of the mixture into each tomato. Season with pepper and garnish with cilantro.