Today is Blog Action Day 2011 (Twitter hashtag: #BAD11) where writers all over the world write on the same topic – this year, it’s food. As a Green editor, I read and write often about food. There are many ways to interpret this topic – favorite foods, organic foods, societal struggles with hunger and poverty and eating disorders and more serious issues. Those issues need to be discussed, but I also thought it would be a nice opportunity to celebrate the happiness that food brings. I had planned to write about my favorite foods, so I brainstormed what those were – pad thai, stir fry, raviolis, lasagna, pretty much anything that has noodles and can be eaten in a bowl is good in my book. However, I had a bread- and pasta-heavy weekend, so I decided to try to detox and stick to veggies. I love tomatoes, garlic, basil, olives, artichoke – Mediterranean food, in general, especially Italian. My mom’s side of the family is Italian (maiden name Ghione), and although we don’t speak the language, we enjoy our heritage through its cuisine. I went to Italy when I was 16, and it was a great experience learning about and tasting the food firsthand. I’ve also ventured to Greece and Turkey and the smells of baked tomato, olives and coriander are pleasantly evocative of those experiences.
So, Andrew and I decided to make stuffed tomatoes tonight for dinner. They were delicious, easy to make and contained many of my favorite ingredients.
You will need:
Roma tomatoes (they work well to stuff)
Artichoke hearts (I just used them from a jar since I didn’t have time to make it myself)
Fresh basil leaves
Italian sausage (any meat will work though, or go meatless)
Spices – I used fennel and coriander
1. Set the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Cook the sausage. As it’s cooking, slice your roma tomatoes in half horizontally. Scoop out the inside and place it in a bowl.
3. Cut up the green onion, basil and spinach and add them to the tomato innards in the bowl. It helps at this point to cut up the insides of the tomato too so that it’s not in big chunks. Cut up the artichoke (and the olives if they aren’t already diced) and add to the rest of the ingredients. Once your sausage is done, put it in as well. Add a pinch of cheese, and stir all ingredients.
Andrew and I had it with our favorite brand of cheap wine (Savignon Blanc by Foxbrook, a whole $2.49). I have no clue how to pair wine but it was good to me!
And just for fun: an old picture of me venturing through Italy (2005).