a recipe from David Lebowitz’s My Paris Kitchen
This unique, healthy dish is great for a group dinner or for you and your partner to enjoy for multiple meals throughout the week. At first I was apprehensive about my boyfriend’s selection to prepare the dish as I assumed it would not be very filling or should rather be served as a side dish. Although this simple combination of fresh ingredients is incredibly flavorful and filling with the addition of ground beef.
Start out cooking this dish by making sure you have prepared all of the vegetables and spices “mis en place” which is a French phrase which means to “put in place” all of the ingredients in your recipe. Chop the fresh sage, thyme and basil. Chop the garlic and onions and grate your parmesan cheese.
This was a great dish to prepare as a couple because we had four hands to chop up everything together. I always make him chop the garlic to avoid the smell getting caught under my nails!
1. Brush a large baking sheet with olive oil.
2. Remove the stems from the tomatoes and slice in half horizontally. Gently squeeze out some of the juices and seeds to be discarded. Then, cut and dig out the pulp using a paring knife. Chop the pulp into small pieces and place into a small bowl. Arrange the tomato halves, cut side up, on the baking sheet.
3. Trim both ends off the zucchini and eggplant and slice them in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise in half again. With a paring knife cut out the gulley in the centers, leaving the sides about ½ inch thick to make a “boat” to hold the filling. Chop the inside pieces after removed and add them to the chopped tomatoes. Arrange the zucchini and eggplants on the baking sheet cut side up.
4. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until it begins to soften, stirring occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chopped vegetables and 1 tsp of salt and continue to cook until the vegetables are completely softened and most of the liquid has cooked off.
5. Stir in the herbs and cook for another minute, then add the meat and chopped chile. (We used cayenne pepper flakes as a substitute). Season with the remaining 1 ½ teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Cook the meat, stirring frequently until it’s just cooked through 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice, and let cool to room temperature.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
7. Scrape the cooled meat mixture into the bowl of a food processor along with the parsley and egg. Pulse the mixture a few times until just mixed together but still chunky.
8. Fill the hollowed-out vegetables with the meat mixture and drizzle a bit of olive oil on top.
9. Bake the vegetables for 1 hour, until fully cooked through, sprinkling the grated cheese about 15 minutes before they are done. Serve warm.
4 firm ripe tomatoes
1 onion, peeled and diced
3-4 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
2 ½ teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 lb. ground beef, lamb, pork or turkey
1 small chile pepper seeded and finely chopped
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf basil or parsley
1 large egg
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
City girl, traveler, foodie and film fanatic sharing stories on every day, attainable luxury. Passionate about speaking Italian, exploring, cooking, and crafting.