They understand the Mediterranean lifestyle in Tuscany, and this simple-but-stunning Tuscan-inspired salad is a healthful and nourishing way to use the glut of gorgeous fresh tomatoes that are in the markets now.
A fragrant, mouth-watering mixture of cucumber, yogurt, and fresh herbs make a delightful stuffing for tomatoes. The results look pretty and fancy enough for company but they’re so simple you could make them everyday, and, like most stuffed foods, kids seem to enjoy them, as well. There’s really nothing to stuffing a tomato. Here’s how to do it:
12 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
1 cup (one 8-ounce container) plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 small white or red onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 head Boston lettuce, separated into leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
1. Cut off the tomato tops with a small, sharp knife. With a small spoon, gently scoop put the insides of each tomato without puncturing the skins. Lay the shells upside down to drain them thoroughly, about 10 minutes. Discard the insides, or save them to use in a sauce.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt and mayonnaise. Add the cucumber, lemon juice, onion, parsley, chives, and dill; season with pepper and blend together well. Carefully fill the tomato shells with the yogurt-vegetable mixture.
3. Place 2 or 3 lettuce leaves on each salad plate. Drizzle a few drops of olive oil on top of them. Place 2 stuffed tomatoes atop the lettuce on each plate and serve.
Adapted from Twelve Months of Monastery Salads, by Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourette (Harvard Common Press, 2004). Copyright (c) 2004 by Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourette. Reprinted by permission of Harvard Common Press.
Adapted from Twelve Months of Monastery Salads, by Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourette (Harvard Common Press, 2004).