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As the trees begin to change color, make sure to take advantage of the season's bounty of fresh produce, such as tomatoes, eggplant, basil and walnuts.
Roasted Eggplant and Walnut Stuffed Tomato Caps feature fresh ingredients perfect for early autumn. These tomato halves are filled with a sweet mixture of roasted eggplant and fresh basil, and the earthy crunch of walnuts - a delectable finger food to serve family and friends.
Walnuts add a heart-healthy crunch to this recipe. A study conducted at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona (2001) showed that a handful of walnuts a day reduces cholesterol and heart disease risk.
SERVES 6 (1 serving = 4 tomatoes) appetizer
• 1 eggplant (about 1 lb.), cut in 1 inch chunks
• 1 green bell pepper, halved, seeded and sliced
• 1 onion, sliced
• 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon dried basil OR 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
• 1 tablespoon capers
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 24 (about 1 lb.) large cherry tomatoes (golf-ball sized)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat a large baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Spread the eggplant, pepper and onion on the baking pan and bake, stirring twice, until the vegetables have wilted and browned lightly, about 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Place the roasted vegetables in a food processor with the vinegar and basil and process until roughly chopped. Add the walnuts and capers and process again until the mixture is thick and coarsely blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 2 cups roasted vegetable mixture.
Cut the top, or stem end, from each tomato. Using a knife point, loosen the insides of each tomato, and then scoop out the seeds and juices with a small spoon, leaving just a tomato shell.
With a small spoon, place a generous tablespoon of filling in each tomato, mounding it over the top. Alternately, place the filling mixture in a zip-seal plastic bag. Seal the bag then make a small diagonal cut on one of the lower corners. Press the mixture through the hole and into the tomatoes.
Nutrition Per serving:
109 calories, 4g protein, 15g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 70mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 5g total fat, 0g saturated fat % Calories: 11% protein, 54% carbohydrate, 35% fat
Recipe provided courtesy of the Walnut Marketing Board
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