My friend Jen gave them to me, so being the frugal cook that I am, I decided to use them as a main dish. I have made stuffed tomatoes in the past and posted them. It was a meatless recipe from Giada DiLaurentiis. This new version is a little heartier, since I added turkey sausage and red bell pepper. I love both versions, but this recipe can be used as a main dish. Just serve 2 tomatoes per person.
Tip: You can use any combination of your favorite herbs. If you don't have fresh herbs on hand, or no time to chop them, just use half of the amount of dried herbs instead.
Tomatoes Stuffed with Turkey Sausage and Rice
3 turkey sausage, removed from casing
4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus extra for drizzling
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2" squares
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1 ~ 8.8 oz. bag Uncle Ben's Ready Brown Rice
6 ripe but firm large tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup grated Campo Moltobon cheese, or Parmesan
Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a medium saute pan. Add in the turkey sausage, breaking up into small pieces. Add the shallot and 1 clove minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through. Empty into a medium bowl and set aside.
Heat the rice in a medium saute pan with 2 tablespoons water, stirring periodically, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes.(or heat on high in the microwave for 90 seconds). Add to the turkey mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut a 1/2-inch thick slice off the top of each tomato. Squeeze each tomato gently and carefully to get most of the seeds out. With a spoon, scoop the pulp and juice from each tomato into a small bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of the tomato juice and pulp.
Oil the bottom of an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place the hollowed tomatoes in the prepared dish.
Add the reserved tomato juice and pulp to the reserved rice and turkey mixture. Add all the fresh herbs, cheese, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper, to taste. Combine well.
Spoon the mixture into the hollowed tomatoes, mounding slightly. Sprinkle leftover stuffing on the bottom of the pan. Drizzle entire dish with olive oil. Bake until the rice is heated through, about 20 minutes.