I Heart Perla Meyers

 I can't help it.  I'm addicted to her simple, straightforward take on fresh, seasonal ingredients. All I have to do is throw one of her books (in this case The Peasant Kitchen) into my purse for the subway ride down to the Union Square Greenmarket, and by the time I'm there I'm ready to take advantage of all that fresh produce.  For this recipe, I picked a slew of different heirloom tomatoes, of all shapes and sizes, to stuff.  They look beautiful sitting all together, a rainbow of yellow, green, red and deep burgundy.  This preparation really depends on the quality of your tomatoes.  If you're lucky enough to be knee deep in some vine-ripened or heirloom beauties, this is a lovely way to enjoy them.

Middle Eastern Stuffed Tomatoes

6 - 8 ripe tomatoes
2 large eggplants
2 small garlic cloves, passed through a press
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
2 - 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the tops off the tomatoes and remove the seeds and pulp (which you can save for a soup).  Sprinkle the tomato shells with salt, invert, and allow to drain on paper towels for between 30 minutes and one hour

Grill or broil the eggplants until the skin is totally charred.  When done, cut them in half and scoop out the pulp with a spoon.  Be careful not to get any of that charred skin.  Sprinkle the pulp with a little salt and drain in a small strainer for around 30 minutes.  Next, chop the pulp and place it in a mixing bowl.

Add the garlic, chives, parsley and mayonnaise to the eggplant.  Season with salt and pepper and chill for 30 minutes.  Fill the drained tomatoes with the eggplant mixture and serve chilled.


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