When Tomatoes Are Fresh The Meals Are Too

Wayne shares summer recipes using fresh tomatoes

Wayne Johnson

It’s tomato season and grocery store and farmers markets are filled with every shape and size.  Fresh tomatoes are great as an appetizer or part of a main meal.  My standbys with tomatoes are simple caprese salads and as a topping for bruschetta.  Plus, here are two more ideas that I think you’ll enjoy.

Stuffed Tomatoes
for four servings


4 Lg Tomatoes
1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 med Onion, chopped
1 Celery Stalk, chopped
1 med Carrot, sliced
1 Jalapeño, chopped (seeded if desired)
1 tbl Fresh Oregano, roughly chopped
1 cu Cooked Rice
1/4 cu Fresh Parsley, roughly chopped for garnish


Slice the tops off of the tomatoes.  Using a spoon or melon baller, cut the insides out of the tomatoes.  Drin the juice and seeds from the extracted pieces of the tomatoes. Turn the hollowed out tomatoes upside down to drain.  Roughly chop the tops and inside pieces and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown ground beef in a skillet or saucepan over medium high heat.  Add salt, pepper and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add onions, celery, carrots, jalapeño and fresh oregano and sauté until onions are translucent and carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.  Transfer ingredients to a large bowl using a slotted spoon to leave liquid behind.  Add rice and half of the chopped tomatoes and mix thoroughly. 

Place tomatoes in a baking dish just larger than the four tomatoes.  Divide the  beef mixture among the hollowed out tomatoes and lightly pack.  Top the mixture with the remaining chopped tomatoes. Distribute any extra ingredients into the bottom of the baking dish.

Bake for 15 20 minutes until just cooked through (overcooking will break down the tomatoes).  Remove from oven and carefully transfer each tomato to an individual serving plate.  Top with chopped parsley.

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce
yields about 1/2 cup of sauce

1 lg Tomato (or 2-3 med to small ones), about 1/2 lb total weight
1 tsp Horseradish
1 tbl Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 tbl Lemon Juice
1/4 cu Onion, finely minced
1 tsp Dry Mustard
1/4 cu Ketchup
1/4 cu Celery, finely minced


Core the tomato and then slice it in half.  Squeeze each half to release the seeds and excess juice.  Place the tomato and all the remaining ingredients except the celery into a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Remove from the container and add celery.  Served chilled with boiled shrimp.

If you have any questions or comments, send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on twitter @MrDomesticDiva.

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