Warm Quinoa and Zucchini-Stuffed Tomatoes
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups purified water or vegetable stock
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 medium onion , chopped
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 2 tablespoons currants or rainsins
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or basil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground curry (or cumin)
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 medium tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pour one tablespoon olive oil into a nonstick pan and sauté the chopped onions, zucchini, currants, parsley or basil, curry, paprika and lemon juice over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Scoop the quinoa into the sauté pan and mix thoroughly with a spoon until it is blended with the vegetables to make an aromatic stuffing. Remove from heat.
Create a lid for each tomato by cutting a star shape around the stem about 1/4-inch deep. Remove the top and set it aside. Scoop out the seeds of each tomato and some of the loose pulp, being careful to leave a strong wall of tomato all around. Spoon equal amounts of the stuffing into the cavities of each tomato, filling them up generously. Put the tomatoes in a small ceramic or glass baking dish and garnish with a sprinkle of bread crumbs and one teaspoon Parmesan cheese per tomato. Cover the baking dish with a glass lid or foil and bake for 25 minutes. Tomatoes should be firm and easy to transfer from the baking dish to the serving plates. Garnish by putting the star-shaped tomato lids back on top of each tomato.
Note: If you don't have quinoa on hand, you can make this recipe using millet or amaranth. Amaranth tends to have a slightly sweet flavor, while millet and quinoa tend to taste like natural rice, with a delicate, nut-like flavor.