A Simple Summer Dinner with Friends

There is nothing better than getting together with good friends and sharing good food.  That is hands down my favorite way to spend my day.  And that is exactly what we did last night.  It was a great evening, as it always is when we get together with our dear friends Priscilla and Jonathon.  Regardless of who’s house we are at, we always end up sharing the kitchen duties, with each of us bringing about half the meal while the other one prepares other delectable dishes in her own kitchen.  Priscilla is a fabulous cook and is perfect at getting every last detail just right.  Last night, in between the rain and the sunshine, we enjoyed a simple, easy summer meal where we shared our friendship, great food and a fabulous bottle of wine, in Priscilla’s backyard.  Priscilla marinated a flank steak that we put on the grill.  She also had a nice crusty French bread that we dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I made some grilled stuffed tomatoes and a purple potato salad.  Dessert was a delicious strawberry shortcak, made by Priscilla,  finished with a nice, tasty port.  Life is good!

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You have all seen my recipe for my purple potato salad.  Here is the recipe and technique for stuffing and grilling the tomatoes.  Everything was delicious!  I just love tomatoes.  I cook with a lot of tomatoes, and we eat them a lot.  They are so tasty and so very good for you too.

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large fresh, firm tomatoes

salt & pepper to taste

2 TBSP olive oil, plus more for drizzling on top after the tomatoes are done

2 TBSP ginger, minced

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

1 can garbonzo beans or chickpeas, drained

2 TBSP of each fresh mint and lemon verbena, cut into a chiffonade or shredded

 

Slice a small slice off the bottom of the tomatoes so they stand up straight.  Slice off a larger portion of the top and hollow the tomatoes out by cutting very carefully around the inside edges (about 1/4 ” from the edges) of the tomatoes and removing the center.  Discard the seeds and the bitter center, while keeping the fleshy, “meaty” center part.

Heat the olive oil in a medium sized skillet, and add the ginger until it is nice and fragrant, cooking for about 1-2 minutes.  Add the tomato pulp, with the juice, salt and pepper.  Add the rice, the garbonzo beans and herbs.  Cook down until all the excess liquid has evaporated.  Once the tomato-rice mixture is cooked, carefully stuff the tomatoes by spooning the mixture into the center of the cut tomatoes.  (This can be done ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator too until ready to grill for a few ours or even overnight).

I actually cooked my rice with the tomato and ginger mixture, so I added 2 cups of water with 1 cup of rice and then cooked it all down.

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Place the stuffed tomatoes on the indirect heat portion of the grill and cook for about 15-25 minutes or until the skin begins to wrinkle and the filling is nice and hot.  You can served these hot, warm or at room temperature.  If you want a little more zest to these, serve them with lime wedges and squeeze the lime juice over the tomatoes.

 

*** We had a red blend called Ensemble from Bookcliff Winery in Boulder, CO

*** Our port was a chocolate cherry port from another local winery, InVINtions, a Creative Winery, located in Greenwood Village, CO.

We are very fond of both wineries and frequent them both as much as possible.

 

 

Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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