Recipe Corner: Stuffed Roma Tomatoes with Three Cheeses

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recipe-corner--stuffed-roma-tomatoes-with-three-cheeses

By Christine Vartanian Datian 

Ingredients:

12 large Roma tomatoes

1 medium red or white onion, finely minced

2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced

Olive oil

1/2 pound lean ground beef or lamb

1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely minced

1/4 cup medium-sized bulgur (found in Middle Eastern markets)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon each dried basil, dried thyme, sea salt and chopped lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon each black pepper, red pepper flakes, and paprika or Aleppo pepper

Dash of cinnamon

3/4 cup crumbled Feta and Kasseri cheese, combined

Fresh chopped mint or dried mint for garnish

Marinara or tomato sauce

Parmesan cheese

Juice of one lemon

 

Preparation:

Wash the tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out and reserve pulp and discard seeds.  Chop reserved pulp and set aside.

Sauté the onions with the garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil until the onions are translucent.  Add the beef or lamb and brown the meat for a few minutes; drain.

Add the parsley, bulgur, tomato paste, spices, and tomato pulp, and heat through, stirring, for 5-10 minutes or until bubbly.  Remove from heat and stir in the Feta and Kasseri cheeses, to taste.  Let mixture cool for 5-8 minutes.

Using a tablespoon, spoon some meat mixture into each tomato shell.  Place stuffed shells on a cookie sheet or in a large greased casserole dish.  Top each tomato with a tablespoon or two of marinara or tomato sauce and bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until heated through and sauce is bubbly.  (Check occasionally and spoon more sauce over tomatoes as they are cooking, if desired.)

Remove from oven, top tomatoes with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and some mint, and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.   Place on a serving platter with a bowl of marinara sauce and small slices of garlic cheese toast.  Serve hot or cold.

Serves 4-6.

Armenian Mirror-Spectator

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