Monday, June 8, 2020

Meals from Nothing...Hints and Tips #2...meals from tomatoes that aren't pasta...

We're having Tomatoes Provencale for dinner tonight.

So healthy, inexpensive and YUMMY!
I think our first instinct when we have a glut of tomatoes, or they're super inexpensive at the supermarket, is to make Passata (Italian tomato sauce), or a relish.
Whilst I love a good relish as much as anyone, and Passata remains a firm staple here, I do sometimes think it's a waste of an opportunity to enjoy tomatoes as something more robust.
Tomatoes Provencale is a fancy name for Stuffed Tomatoes, and hollowing out, and refilling any suitable vege, is a great way to turn a glut into gourmet.
Potatoes, Eggplant (Aubergine), Zucchini (Courgette), Sweet Potato (Kumera), and even whole cabbages, lend themselves really well to being hollowed out, the innards mixed with other delicious things, refi

For a generous serve for each person you need:

- 1 tomato, cut in half and hollowed out..larger for hungrier folk, smaller for the littlies. Retain the pulp, chopping it up for the filling.
-  1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half to expose the juicy inner edges.
-  1 slice of bread, rubbed lightly with the cut garlic clove, then cubed.
 - A jig of olive oil.
- Something to liven it up if you wish, such as sliced olives, pulses like lentils or chick peas, quinoa, risotto, small pasta, diced bacon, or chopped hard boiled egg.
-  Preheat your oven to 200C (375F).
 - Line a tray with baking paper.
 - Place the halved tomatoes on your tray. Season with a tiny bit of salt and pepper, and rub the insides with the used garlic clove halves. This imparts the lightest of garlic flavours, without it overpowering everything.
 - Mix the bread cubes, chopped tomato pulp, olive oil, and any other ingredients you would like to add.
- Pile into the tomato halves.
-  Bake until the crumbs are crisp and golden.

We love these served with noodles or gnocchi, tossed with herbs and a little extra virgin olive oil, and a piece of proscuitto or bacon, crisped in the oven with the tomatoes, and crumbled over the noodles.

But you could equally serve them as is, with a light salad garnish and not much else, for a lunch.

Another great way to use up tomatoes, is to roast them, (slice them lengthwise or halve them for larger tomatoes) sprinkling them first with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and a generous grind of good salt and pepper.

This caramelises them, making them mouthwateringly sweet and salty, and they are divine folded through cooked spiral pasta, topping a risotto, garnishing cream cheese on toast or crackers, in omelettes or scrambled eggs or tofu, for delectable bruschetta, as a topping or flavour boost for pizza, meatloaf or terrine, or added to fritters or a frittata.

More ideas to come...but meanwhile, what's your favourite vegetable based meal when you have an abundance?



  1. Stuffed tomatoes sound really good with rice and a salad. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. They are truly delicious Julie! Thanks for stopping by. Mimi xxx

  2. Yum!

    I would like to try this - and, hopefully, with homegrown tomatoes! The garlic and bread components would have to be scrumptious!

    Thank you!


    1. Rachel the soft tomatoes and the crunchy bread are such a great combo!Mimi xxx


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