April 30, 2009

Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes–Tomates Rellenos


Earlier this week, I listened to Spanish Chef Jose Andres wax poetic about his favorite end-of-the-month meal as a child; Garbanzos con Espinacas.  (Guess what my favorite is!) The recipe is part of a series on NPR entitled "How Low Can You Go," where notable chefs feed a family of four for under $10. The recipes must  also be easy, healthy, and delicious–a challenging combination.  Listeners of the show were also invited to submit their own budget-conscious recipes. 

As I listened, I thought–Argentineans are pros at creating simple, wholesome meals for very little money.  With their own economic ups and downs, so many of the dishes they serve are delicious and, well, cheap.  I logged onto NPR and submitted this recipe, which is one of my mother-in-law, Florencia's recipes. 

It couldn't be easier, faster, or less expensive, and also fits the bill of being healthy and delicious.  Now, it may not be something I would serve, if , say,  Jose Andres were coming to my house for dinner.  But for a weeknight meal, it's perfect–it embraces everything I love about Argentinean eating–not overdone, fussy, or complicated, this recipe lets the eater eat, with humble ingredients yet delicious flavors.

Tomates Rellenos

Stuffed Tomatoes

There are a number of fillings for the stuffing, you may change things  according to your taste (I think salmon instead of tuna would be interesting).  Feel free to omit the egg if that doesn't appeal, or add chives or dill instead of the parsley.  I think this would be amazing with fresh late summer tomatoes from the farmer's market.

2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and chopped

2 cans tuna

mayonnaise to taste

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

salt, to taste

fresh ground pepper, to taste

8 tomatoes, tops cut off, cored and seeded

Head of lettuce, for serving, optional

Wash tomatoes, cut tops off using a serrated knife, and core and seed them.  Set them aside.  Open the tuna cans and drain.  In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, mayonnaise, garlic, parsley, and chopped hard-boiled egg.  Stuff the tomatoes with the tuna mixture, and garnish with a sprig of parsley.  Serve on a bed of lettuce if desired.

More photos on my flickr photostream, From Argentina With Love

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Relevant posts:  End Of The Month Gnocchi, Tuna and Roasted Red Pepper Empanadas


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7 Responses to “Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes–Tomates Rellenos”

  1. Perfect! I need to put lunch together for work tomorrow and ran out of ideas. A stuffed tomato is a great idea! Hmmm… I’m getting kind of tempted to make it for dinner rather than the home made pizza I’d planned. LOL
    I love tuna with chopped eggs. And noooooo sweet relish or pickles.

  2. My little Jewish grandmother used to make something very much like this — no tuna, but tomatoes filled with egg salad. I absolutely loved them and always felt that I was getting a special “package” made just for me.

  3. Jose Andres was a phenomenon when I lived in DC. I guess he still is–he continues to build his food empire. :-) Thanks for the tip on the NPR food segment.
    I’m kind of glad we have to soak our beans living in South America because it makes me appreciate the freshness of the food even more. Oh, and it’s cheaper and better for the environment than canned.
    Recently I’ve been craving garbanzos, so I’m definitely going to check out the garbanzos con espinaca.
    Let us know if you’re posted on NPR!

  4. muy frescos y ricos los los tomates rellenos,muy buena la receta, saludos desde Bowen Mendoza R.Argentina, para todos, Florencia.

  5. Yes, that is definitely typical from my country. I love them. I add rice to the stuffing too and some capers if I have them on had.

  6. I love the sound of this recipe and best of all, the fact that it’s simple to make. Love it!

  7. Me encantan tomates rellenos! I remember eating these all the time in Argentina on a warm summer day. Nothing more refreshing and light than that! Beats an asado any day! (p.s. don’t tell my husband I said that or he may try to disown me :) )

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