Sunday, September 07, 2008

Saturday : Stuffed tomatoes, glazed chickpeas

This month's Le Menu has a picture of a stuffed tomato on the cover (and some recipes for stuffed vegetables inside); that started the wheels turning. Then there was leftover brown rice in the fridge and some tomatoes from this week's box. From there everything else became obvious:

Cook minced celery, onion, and garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt until they are nicely softened. Meanwhile, hollow out a few tomatoes and add the chopped insides to the pan. Once the tomatoes have reduced away, add the cooked brown rice and a mixture of finely chopped rosemary, thyme, and lemon thyme. Mix well and adjust seasonings. Add a pinch of saffron and mix again. Gently stir in some small-diced feta cheese and then stuff the tomatoes. Put some olive oil in a baking dish, spread the extra rice mixture on the bottom of the dish, top with the stuffed tomatoes, then bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and the rice on top of them starts to brown.

Another ingredient floating around the kitchen -- reduced OJ from a salad dressing earlier in the week -- suggested the accompaniment: glazed chickpeas:
Toast some whole cumin seeds in a dry pan until they are aromatic. Add to reduced orange juice and chickpeas in a pot. Add a bit of veggie bouillon and bring to a simmer. Add some finely chopped rosemary, thyme, and lemon thyme and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is basically evaporated. Adjust seasonings and serve drizzled with olive oil.

At some point during the making of this meal I realized I was in the process of creating something that would be exceptionally good. That thought was completely correct. Wow was this good food.

Of course we also had a green salad.

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