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“Rosemary is essential in the Italian kitchen. It gives aroma to roasted chicken and roast potatoes, to grilled mushrooms and to pizza bianca, is the basis to every stew or roast, and provides a haunting, aromatic flavor in dishes like these stuffed tomatoes.” – Terri Salminen
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Wow, can you believe it?! The Taste Of The Place cookbook is moments away from shipping to kitchens just like yours all over the world (June 26th is the big day, to be exact)! To celebrate, and to give you a sneak peek into the deliciousness awaiting you if you purchase your own copy, I will be sharing select recipes from the book over the next several months.
This recipe comes to us from the Italy chapter and was contributed by the lovely Terri Salminen of Beautiful Food Stories by Terri Salminen.
Here is what Terri has to say about this fresh and simple, yet satisfying dish, “Rosemary is essential in the Italian kitchen. Unlike short-lived and summery basil, pale green rosemary in terracotta pots decorate the balconies and kitchen doorsteps of Italy throughout the year. Rosemary gives aroma to roasted chicken and roast potatoes, to grilled mushrooms and to pizza bianca, is the basis to every stew or roast, and provides a haunting, aromatic flavor in dishes like these stuffed tomatoes. The smell of rosemary brings me home.
“Vegetables hold center stage in the Italian kitchen, and a dish like this makes for a perfect, light entrée.
“The tomatoes can be made early in the morning, before the heat of summer or busy schedules interrupt cooking activity. Serve them warm or at room temperature, as they are lovely both ways. And if you are in the mood vary the vegetables by using red peppers or eggplant rather than tomatoes for an equally lovely oven-baked vegetable dish.”
Terri recommends serving these savory tomatoes alongside a small dish of oven-baked risotto – but you’ll have to buy the cookbook to get that recipe! 😉
- 4 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
- 1 medium green zucchini or yellow squash, top and root trimmed
- ¼ cup shelled pistachios or almonds
- Pinch whole fennel seeds
- Pinch dried chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves or dried herbes de Provence
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash the tomatoes and cut off the top ¼ inch to create a lid. Scoop out the inside of the tomatoes and reserve the seeds and juice for the dressing.
- Sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with salt. Place the tomatoes and their lids upside down on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Grate the zucchini on the coarse side of a box grater. Place the grated zucchini on the baking sheet next to the tomatoes.
- Bake the tomatoes and zucchini for 5 minutes then remove them from the oven to cool.
- Increase the oven temperature to 375°F.
- Meanwhile, grind the pistachios into a coarse powder with a food processor. Crush the fennel seeds and dried chili flakes with a pestle and mortar.
- In a medium sized bowl, toss together the baked zucchini with the ground pistachios, crushed fennel seeds, dried chili flakes, rosemary, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, and salt to taste.
- Fill the tomatoes with the zucchini filling and top with the tomato lids.
- Return the tomatoes to the parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are beginning to brown.
- Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, whisk together the reserved tomato seeds and juice, remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, a pinch of salt, and the lemon zest and juice to make a dressing.
- Arrange the stuffed tomatoes on a serving plate and drizzle with a small amount of the dressing. Serve additional dressing alongside at the table.