The “Tomato Well Stuffed” is a classic dish that involves stuffing tomatoes with a flavorful mixture before baking or cooking them. The dish has a rich history and is often associated with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. It’s known for its combination of fresh ingredients and delicious flavors. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the recipe, including its history, ingredients, instructions, and preparation time:
The history of stuffed tomatoes is deeply rooted in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. These regions have a long tradition of using fresh, local ingredients to create dishes that are both flavorful and nutritious. Stuffed vegetables, including tomatoes, were a creative way to make use of abundant produce and create satisfying meals.
- Large ripe tomatoes (as many as desired)
- Ground meat (such as beef, lamb, or a combination)
- Rice or couscous
- Onion, finely chopped
- Garlic, minced
- Fresh herbs (such as parsley, mint, or dill), chopped
- Spices (such as cumin, paprika, cinnamon), to taste
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Wash the tomatoes and cut off the tops. Carefully scoop out the insides, leaving a hollow shell. Reserve the tomato pulp for later use.
- In a bowl, mix the ground meat, rice or couscous, chopped onion, minced garlic, fresh herbs, spices, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can adjust the quantities of these ingredients based on the number of tomatoes you’re using and your personal taste preferences.
- Fill each hollow tomato with the meat and rice mixture, packing it gently but firmly.
- Place the stuffed tomatoes in a baking dish. If there’s any remaining meat and rice mixture, you can shape it into meatballs and place them between the tomatoes.
- Chop the reserved tomato pulp and spread it around the stuffed tomatoes in the baking dish.
- Drizzle a bit more olive oil over the tomatoes and into the baking dish.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender and the filling is cooked through.
- Optionally, you can remove the foil during the last 10 minutes of baking to allow the tops of the tomatoes to brown slightly.
- Once the stuffed tomatoes are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
The preparation time for stuffed tomatoes can vary depending on your cooking experience and the number of tomatoes you’re making. On average, it might take around 20-30 minutes to prepare the ingredients and stuff the tomatoes, and then an additional 30-40 minutes for baking. So, in total, you can expect the dish to be ready in about 50-70 minutes.
Enjoy your delicious Tomato Well Stuffed, a dish that combines the freshness of tomatoes with flavorful ingredients for a delightful culinary experience!
Certainly, here are the nutrition facts and some health information related to the “Tomato Well Stuffed” recipe:
Nutrition Facts (Per Serving, Approximate):
Please note that these values can vary based on specific ingredients and serving sizes.
- Calories: Around 250-350 kcal
- Carbohydrates: Around 20-30 g
- Protein: Around 15-25 g
- Fat: Around 10-15 g
- Fiber: Around 3-5 g
- Vitamins and Minerals: Rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Potassium, and others based on ingredients used.
Nutrient Density: Stuffed tomatoes are generally nutrient-dense due to the inclusion of fresh vegetables, lean protein (ground meat), and potentially whole grains (rice or couscous). These ingredients provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that contribute to a balanced diet.
Vitamins and Antioxidants: Tomatoes are a great source of Vitamin C and antioxidants like lycopene, which have been associated with various health benefits, including supporting the immune system and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
Protein: The inclusion of lean ground meat provides a good source of protein, which is essential for muscle repair and overall body function.
Fiber: If whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat couscous are used, the dish will be higher in dietary fiber. Fiber promotes digestive health, helps maintain a feeling of fullness, and can contribute to heart health.
Portion Control: While this dish can be nutritious, portion control is important, as it contains calories from both the filling and the tomato itself. Be mindful of serving sizes, especially if you’re looking to manage your calorie intake.
Customization: You can make this dish even healthier by choosing lean meats, using whole grains, and incorporating a variety of colorful vegetables into the stuffing mixture.
Sodium: Be mindful of added salt during cooking, as excessive sodium intake can contribute to high blood pressure. Using herbs and spices for flavor can reduce the need for excessive salt.
Allergies and Dietary Restrictions: Adjust the recipe to accommodate any allergies or dietary restrictions. For example, you can use plant-based proteins or gluten-free grains if needed.
Remember, the exact nutritional content can vary based on the specific ingredients and proportions used in your recipe. If you’re looking for more precise nutritional information, consider using a nutrition calculator or consulting with a registered dietitian.