Who doesn’t love a little savory snack at the bottom of their drink?
Chances are you’ve heard of plenty of stuffed vegetable dishes: Stuffed eggplants, zucchini, bell peppers, and the list goes on. But now allow me to introduce you to an incredibly underrated stuffed vegetable dish – stuffed tomatoes. In fact, it might just be the most delicious stuffed vegetable dish of them all, which is why it’s the latest part of my recent series on how people from around the world eat tomatoes.
These stuffed tomatoes are an Egyptian dish brought to us by Yasmin. According to her, this is an ancient recipe that can be found on tables throughout Egypt. Growing up, however, Yasmin was not exactly a fan of this dish. Yet, after watching how much her mother and grandmother adored them, she eventually caved. These days, Yasmin loves to make and eat these stuffed tomatoes as a way to preserve the cultural and familial tradition.
These stuffed tomatoes may be lovely to look at and eat, but be warned that they are also time consuming to make. In fact, Yasmin notes that in Egypt this dish is actually seen as a gift because of all the time it takes to prepare them. But don’t be too scared off because the end result is definitely worth it.
To prepare your own stuffed tomatoes, you’ll have to get to work hollowing out your tomatoes until you’re left with a bowl shape. Each tomato is then stuffed with diced onions, uncooked white rice, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and spices. Your stuffed tomatoes are then covered and baked in a pan full of the discarded tomato flesh and a few slices of lemon. Once they’ve finished cooking, top each one with fresh herbs like dill and parsley and you’re set.
All of that labor produces a refreshing, light, and flavorful final product. I love the idea of turning these stuffed tomatoes into a vegetarian meal or serving them as an enticing side dish when you’re trying to feed a crowd. This recipe really makes tomatoes the star of the show and contains so many amazing sweet, tangy, and savory flavors. All in all, I completely understand why these stuffed tomatoes are considered a gift – They’re a labor of love to make and an absolute treat to eat.
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