My first week at the new job went very well - it was somewhat overwhelming, of course, meeting new people and getting oriented to the projects that I'll be working on. But overall, I feel like I've already learned a lot and I'm definitely excited about the work! I think the hardest thing was adjusting to a full-time work schedule again - I was surprised at how little energy I had for cooking when I got home each day. I'm sure I'll get used to the schedule soon enough, but for this week I made a meal plan to make things a bit easier. As I made the plan, I made sure to pick out a couple recipes from my new Middle Eastern cookbook to try.
This stuffed tomato recipe is perfect for this time of year, when the tomatoes are so great. It's a Tunisian recipe, and it's wonderful. The tomatoes are stuffed with roasted red peppers, tuna, capers, and olives. Add in some garlic, parsley, and a chile pepper, and I'm sure you can imagine how flavorful this is!
Tomatoes stuffed with roasted peppers, tuna, capers, and olives
Adapted from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food
3 red bell peppers
4 large beefsteak tomatoes
5 oz. canned tuna, preferably canned in olive oil, drained and flaked (about 1/2 cup tuna)
2 tbs capers
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbs chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small hot chile pepper, chopped
1/2 cup cooked bulgur wheat (or another grain of your choice, such as rice)
Freshly ground black pepper
Roast (at about 450 deg F), broil, or grill peppers until the skins are blistered and blackened in spots. Transfer peppers to a brown bag or tupperware container and close container to let peppers steam. After about 15 minutes, peel peppers and remove seeds and membranes. Chop peppers.
Cut a small circle around the stem end of each tomato and cut out a cap. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the tomato pulp and seeds (reserve these for another use if you want). Sprinkle the hollowed out tomatoes with salt and set them upside down on a rack set over a pan to drain for 20 minutes.
While tomatoes drain, preheat oven to 350 deg F. Stir together chopped roasted peppers, tuna, capers, olives, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, chile pepper, and bulgur wheat. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
When tomatoes are finished draining, fill them with tuna mixture and set the caps back on the tomatoes. Place tomatoes in a baking pan and bake until they are tender but still holding their shape, about 20 minutes.