A couple episodes back, Chef made a caprese dish with tofu and tomatoes. You ain’t seen nothing yet, because here’s another way to use tofu and tomatoes – one of my favorite dishes we’ve had here on Earth Eats – Stuffed Turkish Vegetables.
Here’s a chance to explore the fresh and local vegetables available in your area. To accompany the tomatoes, we used eggplant, Swiss chard leaves, poblano peppers, and onions.
The stuffing is where the goodies are, and that’s where you’ll find the tofu. While he does love bacon more than just about anything, Chef Orr does cater to his vegetarian and vegan friends by using tofu often and creatively. But all you meat eaters out there will love it just the same. Take it from me!
The Turkish zing comes from the raisins, pine nuts, and the variety of herbs. It’s the raisins that really add the flavor explosion, so don’t overlook that in the recipe! I was skeptical at that addition of a bit of sweetness, but it’s so pleasant.
These veggie cups would be great as a bite-sized appetizer or you could serve them as a main course. If you’ve got both vegetarians and meat eaters at the table, why not pair Turkish vegetables with, say, turkey.
Stuffed Turkish Vegetables
This mixture is wonderful to fill a large variety of tender young veggies. I like using poblano chilies, tomatoes, young eggplant, assorted summer and winter squashes, colorful sweet peppers and large mushrooms.
The stuffed veggies can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated until needed. They may be served with roasted red pepper sauce or your favorite tomato sauce and garnished with mesclun salad greens and herb oil.
Note: When scooping out the vegetables save the “meat” and dice it up and add to the stuffing. This recipe makes enough stuffing for 4 portions.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1/2 cup diced zucchini
- 1/2 pound tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 pound firm tofu, patted dry and diced
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup pinenuts, toasted until light brown
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs available in Asian markets and gourmet groceries)
- 1/2 cup chopped herbs (mixture of parsley, cilantro, tarragon, chervil or whatever you like)
- salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste
- additional parmesan cheese for sprinkling over the top
- Warm your olive oil gently in a saute pan and add the garlic and ginger. Cook until lightly colored and aromatic. Add the zucchini and tomatoes and cook until just tender.
- Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. The mixture should be able to hold its shape but not be too watery. Add more crumbs if watery, a touch of water if too dry. Season to taste and stuff your veggie “cups.” Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Reserve until needed.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Bake stuffed veggies in a casserole dish with a little water until the vegetable bases are tender when pierced with a sharp knife and the stuffing is nice and crunchy.
- Serve with your choice of sauce, greens or herbs.