Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes with Quinoa

quinoa stuffed tomatoes recipe
These stuffed tomatoes are the brainchild of two recent dining experiences. While in Boulder, my friend Kirsten and I enjoyed tapas and happy hour at The Med (if you’re ever in Boulder, I insist that you do the same!). We ordered a smorgasbord of appetizers and went gaga over one in particular, which was just a ramekin of baked tomatoes, feta, artichoke and kalamata olives. That spread will become a post of its own soon enough, but the combination of ingredients inspired this pretty dish.

A few weeks later, I experienced my first stuffed tomato at my mom’s birthday dinner. After placing my order, my dad mentioned that my grandmother Mimi used to make stuffed tomatoes, which piqued my interest. I cut into the pesto and cheese stuffed tomato and oil exploded onto my plate—not the most appetizing effect. It was good, but I knew it could be better.

When it came to making my own stuffed tomatoes, I decided to use The Med’s tapas ingredients, but turned the tomato into the container. I added quinoa to make it a bit more substantial, went easy on the olive oil, and used feta, which is lower in fat than most cheeses, so it wouldn’t ooze grease. I ate two stuffed tomatoes for dinner but found myself hungry a few hours later, so I think these would be best as a side, or at least accompanied by a hearty green salad. These charming little sides would be great for an upcoming get together!

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Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes with Quinoa
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked red or black quinoa
  • 8 medium on-the-vine tomatoes
  • ⅓ can quartered artichokes (about 4 ounces, or ½ cup), roughly chopped
  • ½ cup full fat feta, plus a few tablespoons extra for topping
  • 15 kalamata olives, sliced thin (I prefer the Mediterranean Organic brand)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic (minced or use a garlic press)
  • ground sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook your quinoa: Measure out ⅓ cup of quinoa, pour into a mesh colandar, and rinse the quinoa under running water for a minute. Pour the rinsed quinoa into a small pot and add ⅔ cup water (you’re going for a 1:2 ratio of quinoa and water). Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from heat, let sit for a few minutes, and fluff with a fork. ⅓ cup uncooked quinoa should yield a little over one cup cooked quinoa. I would use all of it in the filling.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Core the tomatoes by slicing off the top ⅛ inch of each tomato. Run a small knife vertically around the core. Be careful not to cut through the bottom. Use your finger to gently pull out the core and use the knife to clean out any excess left inside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the filling (cooked quinoa, feta, artichokes, olives, olive oil and garlic).
  5. Taste and add salt if necessary (feta and olives are salty to begin with, so you may not need any).
  6. Spray your dish with cooking oil and brush the tops of the cored tomatoes with olive oil.
  7. Use a spoon to stuff the tomatoes with the quinoa mixture.
  8. Top each tomato with extra feta.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the feta starts to turn golden.
  10. Garnish each tomato with a small basil leaf.
Notes
Created with guidance from a stuffed tomato recipe in The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.

 

Comments

  1. says

    I shared your blog with somebody and this is what she had to say!
    wow….wat a beautiful blog….how can anyone make an everyday tomato look that good?…thank u so much for sharing ur inspiration, i’m gonna peek there for recipes n beautiful snaps….:)’

    :)

    • says

      I bet you could! I would maybe add some diced tomatoes to the quinoa mix to make up for any lost moisture from the feta. A light drizzle of balsamic vinegar would add some extra flavor, too.

  2. Kirsten says

    I meant that last comment for the pesto…

    These look amazing. I really can’t wait to try them. We were at the med last week and definitely got the same little baked feta dish. so good! can’t wait to see the post on your take of that one, too. :)

  3. Sonia says

    Hi Kate!

    I saw that you replaced the feta for tofu. I am not the biggest fan of artichokes, do you have any other ideas of what I can replace the artichokes with? I know tofu may be an option, but any other ideas?

    Thanks!!

  4. Erin M says

    Wow! I just stumbled across your blog from a post on Pinterest. Now I am hooked. Your photos and recipes are great. I’m not a fan of stuffing veggies, but this one looks so good. Artichokes and olives?! Yummy! (All your other recipes are looking mighty good too)

  5. Mark Koch says

    Hi Kate

    Looks delicious!
    What would you think or do differently if a bulgur was used instead of the quinoa .? I’m not a big fan of quinoa.

    Working from home today, going to try this for lunch. Since discovering your blog, have made the Kale and Sweet potato soup, and your sweet potato a fries which are a huge hit. what other recipes are favs of newbies?

    • says

      Hey Mark! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my recipes so far. I think that cooked bulgur would be a fine substitute. Brown rice or couscous might be good as well. I can’t say I’ve tried them, but I don’t think they would require much of an adjustment. I also have a recipe for stuffed globe zucchinis that calls for wheat berries and pesto, which you could use to stuff the tomatoes instead, if you’d like.

      If you’d like another hearty sweet potato dish, I highly recommend the sweet potato chili. I also enjoy the sweet potato enchiladas. If you like the bake, my banana bread is a personal favorite and gets rave reviews. The asparagus frittata is gorgeous, easy to make and delicious. The lemony collard green pasta and stir-fried millet are recent favorites, and I really love the watercress salad. Well, really, I love them all!

      • Mark K. says

        Kate – thanks for the suggestions, had actually eye spied the Sweet Potato Chili and made it yesterday – also delicious – interesting touch with the cocoa powder. These tomatoes were outrageous, possibly the tastiest thing I have ever cooked. My son and I downed three each at lunch and it took supreme will power to save two for my wife who enjoyed them at dinner. Just planted six tomato plants in my garden, and can see this recipe will be a fantastic way to deal with an overabundance in August. I voted for you over at Saveur – thanks again for your blog.

        • says

          Hey Mark, thanks again for your comments and feedback (and your vote!). Did you end up using quinoa or something else in these?

  6. Mark K. says

    Kate – I ended up using the Bulgur and they turned out great, but will try with the Quinoa as I understand that’s a complete protein. For the past month, your recipes have helped me cut back from having chicken or beef with every lunch and dinner to just a few times a week – so am still a little brainwashed about not getting enough protein. Howver, I feel great eating more plant based meals, and at age 53 am thrilled to have lost 10lbs without feeling hungry, thanks in large part to your beautifully illustrated recipes.

    Do you have a good recipe for Greek restaurant style hummus on warm pita bread?

  7. gwen says

    Loved this recipe! Thank you. I’m just starting to experiment with quinoa. This was awesome with Summer fresh tomatoes. I actually made them yesterday, but didn’t have time to cook them. I refrigerated them and cooked today and I can say they were great. Nice to know it can be made-ahead.

  8. pat says

    so yummy! i skipped the artichokes (didn’t have any) and threw in some capers instead… served with a kale salad. i’ve made ~10 things from your blog and they’ve all been fantastic! even my husband who claims everything ‘tastes better with meat’ admitted he’s throughly enjoyed all the dishes! THANK YOU!!

    • says

      Yes! I’m so happy to hear that you’re both loving the recipes, Pat. Thanks for commenting! Capers sound like a great idea here.

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