Stuffed Zucchini and Baked Tomatoes for Vegetarians
It is common to find petits farcis, stuffed vegetables, on menus in Provence during the fall and winter months. Residents of Nice claim this dish as a local creation, part of the traditional Niçoise culinary repertoire. My versions of stuffed zucchini and baked tomatoes are suitable for vegetarian diets. These two recipes were on a menu that I created for a Cooking with Tasha online cooking class. Typically, petits farcis are stuffed with a sausage mixture and served with a tomato sauce. The variations (below) are much lighter and well-suited for warmer weather meals.
Stuffed Baked Tomatoes
- Cheese grater
- Small baking rack
- Baking dish
- Paring knife
- Food processor (if you are making your own bread crumbs)
- 6 Tomatoes medium to large
For Stuffing & Top:
- 1 cup Bread Crumbs toasted or use stale bread – grind in a food processor
- 2 oz Gruyere Cheese 1/2 for filling and 1/2 for the topping
- 1 Garlic Clove chopped very finely
- 2 oz Olive oil
- Salt & Ground Pepper
- ½ bunch Fresh Parsley chopped – used for filling and garnishing
- ½ bunch Fresh Basil chopped – used for filling and garnishing
- Optional: Finishing Salt
- Cut the tops off the tomatoes. Scoop out the pulp, leaving ¼ inch shell. Invert onto a small baking rack with paper towels underneath to drain.
- Mix the stuffing ingredients, spoon into tomatoes, Use the 1 oz of cheese that was set aside and sprinkle on top.
- Place tomatoes in a baking dish and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 35 -40 minutes.
- To serve, garnish with chopped basil and parsley.
- Optional: use a finishing salt such as the French Fleur de Sel or Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.
Stuffed Zucchini Halves
- Chef’s knife
- Frying pan
- Sheet pan
- 4 medium Zucchini
- 1 tsp Herbes de Provence *
- 1 small Yellow Onion chopped
- ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 cup Tomato Sauce
- ¾ cup Shredded Gruyere Cheese
- 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley chopped
- Cooking spray vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C)
- Cut the zucchinis in half lengthwise, score (diagonal cuts that don’t go through the bottom or to the edges).
- Heat the olive oil to high heat and sear the cut edges of the zucchini.
- Put on a sheet pan and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Let the zucchinis cool and carefully scoop out the zucchini from the center of each half, set aside.
- Meanwhile, using the same pan – sweat the onions for about 4 minutes and set aside.
- Heat the tomato sauce and add the herbs, onions and balsamic vinegar and zucchini pieces that were shelled out, simmer for 10 minutes.
- Spoon the zucchini mixture evenly into the zucchini shells and then top with shredded cheese.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until tender and the cheese is melted.
- Sprinkle with parsley as garnish before serving.