There is a traditional Italian recipe for hot baked stuffed tomatoes known as Pomodori Ripiene alla Calabrese. Calabria is a region is southern Italy known for their tomatoes. These Calabrese style tomatoes are typically stuffed with bread. I modified the recipe to make it gluten free friendly and instead of bread, included a protein, fiber and amino acid rich grain, quinoa.
Start by scooping out the tomatoes and reserving the pulp. Then sauté shallots and garlic with the tomato pulp in olive oil until tender. Add the minced anchovies (optional) with the cooked quinoa, pine nuts and golden raisins. I know that some of you may wrinkle your noses at the thought of mixing chopped anchovies into the quinoa and tomato mixture. Don’t forget that anchovies are also an ingredient in an authentic Caesar salad dressing and you can’t really taste the fishy flavor. The anchovies are not essential but they do lend a special flavor to the quinoa mixture. Pine nuts and golden raisins add a gentle sweetness and crunchy texture.
Once all of the ingredients are combined, the quinoa is stuffed into the tomatoes and the tomato caps are placed back on the top of each tomato. All dressed up!!
The tomatoes are then baked for about 20 minutes until warm. They can be served hot or at room temperature and can be a main course or a side.
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