Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

One of my favorite movies is Steel Magnolias.  I love Ouiser!  This is one of my favorite conversations involving her:

Ouiser – Tomatoes. (put’s em in Clairie’s lap)
Clairee – Don’t give these all to me!
Ouiser – Somebody’s gotta take em. I hate em. I try not to eat healthy food if I can possibly help it. The sooner my body gives out the better off I’ll be… I can’t get enough grease into my diet.
Anelle – Then why do you grow them?
Ouiser – Because I’m an old Southern woman and we’re supposed to wear funny looking hats and ugly clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt. Don’t ask me those questions. I don’t know why, I don’t make the rules!

Ain’t that true?  And what do I have?  Tomatoes.  So, today’s post is about tomatoes.  I was trying to think of something different.  What could I do with big tomatoes?  Stuff them of course!  How boring would another chicken or tuna salad be though?  Here is my attempt at creative thinking.  This was filling and tasty with the added bonus of leaving the kitchen nice and cool on a hot summer’s day.  Don’t worry if you aren’t old enough to grow tomatoes this big.  The grocery store has a fabulous selection right now.

Mushroom and Artichoke Stuffed Tomatoes

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can of water packed artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 6 ounces of sliced mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ of a small onion finely diced
  • 1 small pepper finely diced (I used Jalapeno but Bell would work)
  • 1 cup of croutons
  • 3 tablespoons of crumbled bacon
  • 2/3 cup of cheese crumbles (I used Cheddar but blue might be good too)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • ½ cup of salad dressing (see recipe below or use your favorite)

Salad Dressing

  • 1/3 Cup olive oil (I used Chipotle Olive Oil from Con’ Olio)
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Supremely Salad seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl combine artichokes, mushrooms,  onion, pepper, croutons, bacon, cheese, parsley and dressing.  Stir to coat and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.

While the other ingredients mingle slice off the top and scoop out the inside of your big tomatoes.  I used a knife to cut out a big chunk and then I used my melon baller to get all the way through the seeds.

After an hour pack the stuffing into the two tomatoes and serve.

I thoroughly enjoyed this!  Some of the rules serve a good purpose, Ouiser.  I’ll have to watch that movie again soon.

I am dusting this one off for This Week’s Cravings on July 30th!