Okay, tomates farcies really just means stuffed tomatoes, but doesn’t it sound better when it’s pronounced the French way? (pronunciation hint: toe-maht far-see).
It can be a little intimidating to contemplate as a recipe, but it’s easier than it looks. I would just give yourself a full two hours before you’re ready to eat for the full preparation and cooking so that your heart is easy.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), then start with six large, red, round tomatoes. The best ones are from the garden, of course, but that’s not always a possibility. I think this is a great dish to make in the fall because red tomatoes are still a possibility, and with all that warm, rich preparation it does a belly good on a brisk day.
Cut the top off the tomato, but don’t throw it away. You’re going to then cut off the cone part of the top so that it’s flat. Like this.
(The cone part you can throw away).
Then empty the tomato of its insides, leaving some flesh around the skin. Garden tomatoes are easier to empty, and if you have trouble with any of the rest, use a knife to slice up the inside, trying to do so without piercing the skin. (Impossible). Try not to feel like a tomato murderer (also impossible).
Then use a spoon to dig out the rest. Sprinkle some salt on the inside of the tomato.
When you have your six tomatoes, take a shallot and two cloves of garlic and mince them. Sauté them in a half tablespoon of olive oil until they are soft. Try not to brown them to a near crisp, like I did. Ahem. Just soft.
Then it’s time to prepare the rest of the filling. Wash a half pound of mushrooms and put them in the Cuisinart – blend into tiny pieces. Add a half pound of ground sausage (not seasoned). Then you need the teaspoons of thyme and salt, the tablespoon of dijon mustard, and the quarter teaspoon of pepper. Add an egg, and you’re ready to blend it all up into a smooth consistency.
Using an ice cream scoop, fill the six tomatoes with the mixture. Sprinkle a teaspoon or two of Parmesan on the filling, and then you can top it with the tomato hat. Like so.
It’s almost ready to cook, but wait – there’s more. We’re going to serve this with rice, so there’s an additional step before it goes into the oven. Pour two cups of white wine into the pan and then put the pan in the oven. (Most of you know we use alcohol-free wine in our house, even for the cooking). Set the timer for 20 minutes.
While that’s in the oven, rinse two cups of basmati rice and drain it. Put the rice in a large sauce pan with two cups of water, a teaspoon of salt and a large chicken bouillon cube.
You’re going to cook that, uncovered, over medium heat until all the water is absorbed. It takes about ten minutes or so, and if you hear it boiling, you should turn the heat down to low. Keep an eye on it, though, because once the water is absorbed, it will quickly start to burn.
When there is no more water, the rice will look cooked, but it’s not.
And when the twenty minutes are up, the tomatoes look like this:
Tons of juice from the wine and mushrooms fill the pan. Using a large spoon, scoop all the partially cooked rice into the pan, and then using a smaller spoon, make sure it’s well mixed with the liquid so that it has a good chance of being cooked evenly.
Put it back in the oven for 30 more minutes, and it’s done!
Done. And ready to eat. (Or freeze, actually, if it’s too much for one family).
Then you can enjoy tomates farcies twice!
PS I just wanted to give a HUGE THANKS for everyone who votes for me. My blog made it into the top five Circle of Mom European Blogs.
- 6 tomatoes
- 500g (half pound) unseasoned ground sausage
- 250g (quarter pound) mushrooms
- 1 shallot
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ T olive oil
- 1t salt
- 1t thyme
- 1T dijon mustard
- ¼t pepper
- 1 egg
- 1-2t Parmesan
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups wine
- 2 cups rice
- 1 large chicken bouillon
- 1 t salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C or 375°F
- Clean the tomatoes, remove the top and the insides.
- Lightly salt the inside of the tomatoes.
- Mince the shallots and garlic, and sauté in oil until soft.
- Wash and mince the mushrooms in blender.
- Add all the other stuffing ingredients, except for the Parmesan. Don't forget the shallot-garlic mix that has been cooked.
- Scoop into tomatoes.
- Top with Parmesan and the tomato hat.
- Pour the wine in the pan and put into the oven for 20 minutes.
- During that time, wash the rice and drain. Cook it with the bouillon and water until all the water is absorbed.
- Remove the tomatoes from oven, and mix the rice in with the liquid in the pan. Put it back in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Serve warm.