Tomates et Courgettes Farcies (Stuffed Tomatoes and Zucchini)

Tomates et Courgettes Farcies is one of my favorite recipes to make for the family. It's easy. It's simple. And it tastes good. I like to chop everything up on my plate and combine everything together. (That's the way we do it here in La Belle France, at least in my house). Even our non-vegetable eating kid has no complaints for this dish-- although he typically removes the parsley garnish). It's kind of like the American version of stuffed peppers I had as a kid. Hey, if you want to stuff peppers- try that too! (I'd go with medium tomatoes or zucchini). Just cut off the caps, de-seed, and stuff!

Your basic ingredients at a glance...

Ready to get cookin', good lookin'? Le's go...

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  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef, pork, or preferably a mix of both
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, de-germed, and finely minced
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 3 healthy pinches herbes de Provence
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley, pus extra for garnish
  • 2 slices white bread, crusts cut off, torn into pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 handful breadcrumbs or panko (optional)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lightly cover the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish with olive oil. Slice the caps (top) off the tomatoes, and place them to the side. Hollow out the tomatoes with a knife and a spoon, without cutting through the bottom, so they resemble small bowls. Set the tomato pulp aside. Lightly salt the interior of each tomato, setting them upside down on a plate to drain. Coarsely chop the tomato pulp and place it in the baking dish. Cut the ends off the zucchini. Slice the zucchini so each portion stands about 3-4 inches high. (They should look like shot glasses). Hollow out the center meat without cutting through the sides or the bottom. Place the meat in the baking dish with the tomato pulp. Chop.

For the farcie (stuffing), mix the ground meat in a large mixing bowl with the garlic, shallots, parsley, and herbes de Provence. Season with salt and pepper. Place the chopped bread slices on the mixture. Add the egg to the meat mixture, and mix all of the ingredients with your hands.

Once the meat is well-combined with the herbs, use a spoon to fill the tomatoes and zucchini to the top with the meat stuffing. Place the vegetables in the baking dish, meat side up.** Drizzle with olive oil, and place a “cap” on each tomato. Add the wine to the tomato pulp mixture in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the entire dish with a bit of fleur de sel. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Serve with rice, spooning the sauce from the bottom of the baking dish on top. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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Bon Appétit, Baby!

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