stuffed tomatoesI honestly thought of calling hubby yesterday to tell him to pick up some take-out on the way home from work. These last few days have been so chaotic and busy that I haven’t had a chance to plans meals like I normally do. It’s usually at 6 in the evening or so that it suddenly starts to dawn on me — I need to get food on the table! The next question of course is “what do I already have in the house?”; trust me, the last thing I want to do is have to run to the shops last minute.

Luckily, yesterday I had everything I needed to make the following dish:  ripe juicy tomatoes I had purchaed at the market on Saturday, sausage meat and herbs straight from the garden. Easy to throw together and just what I needed after a day of culinary research!
Here’s the recipe, which is a variation to my traditional method. Oh, and I made the dish to serve four, which meant that I had stuffed tomatoes (sans rice) this afternoon for lunch.

Stuffed Tomatoes on a Bed of Rice
Serves 4

  • 8 tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp mild olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 400g plain pork sausages
  • 40g fresh breadcrumbs (I make my own from slightly stale bread, about 1 ½ slices)
  • 1 tsps freshly-chopped sage
  • 1 tsp dried fennel
  • small handful chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsps ketchup
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • salt (preferably fleur de sel) and freshly-cracked pepper
  • 200g dried basmati rice
  • 400ml hot water

Preheat your oven to 200°C.Cut the tops of your tomatoes and hollow them out. Reserve the tops. Sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with salt. Heat the olive oil and gently sauté the shallots and the garlic for about three minutes. Take the sausage meat out of its casing and put it into a large bowl together with the breadcrumbs, sage, fennel, parsley, ketchup, egg, cooked shallots and garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Combine everything well with your hands. Divide the mixture over the hollowed tomatoes. Spread the rice over the dish and place the tomatoes on top of the rice. Carefully add in 300ml of the hot water, drizzle the dish with olive oil and place the caps back on the tomatoes. Bake for about 30 minutes. After this time, add the rest of the water and allow to cook for a further 15 minutes. Serve the tomatoes with the rice and perhaps a green salad.

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