“Tomato season” is one of my favorite food seasons of the whole year. Tomatoes can be transformed into some of my favorite things – salsa, pasta sauce, soup, Bloody Marys… but when they’re straight out of the garden and seasoned with a little salt, I don’t know if anything beats fresh, in-season tomatoes!
I’ve been in love with tomato bruschetta ever since our family friends introduced it to me during a birthday dinner at Olive Garden when I was little. This is my absolute favorite bruschetta recipe to make at home. Making a big batch of tomato bruschetta is the PERFECT way to use up all of the late-summer tomatoes before they’re gone and the bland, barely red tomatoes of winter return!
Earlier this summer, I was walking Emmy and trying to think of a way that I could have bruschetta for dinner without only eating bread and tomatoes for dinner. Not that eating only bread and tomatoes for dinner sounds like a bad thing to me, but I didn’t think Trey would be very thrilled. And not that he’s ever that thrilled when dinner doesn’t include meat, but I wanted to serve him something more substantial than only tomato bruschetta.
I ended up stuffing roasted zucchini with farro and fresh herbs, layering on some fresh mozzarella, and topping it with a bunch of the tomato bruschetta. It turned out to be super easy and healthy! You get some chew and nuttiness from the farro, some creaminess from the melted cheese, and some brightness from the tomatoes. You could also use brown rice, quinoa, or another whole grain to stuff the zucchini, but if you haven’t tried farro, I would definitely recommend giving it a try!
When we sat down for dinner, Trey informed me that he doesn’t really like zucchini. But by the end of the dinner, he said that for zucchini, this is pretty good. So I guess that’s a win?
I can always make it up to him with tacos the next night.
The art of compromise!
Tomato Bruschetta, Fresh Mozzarella, and Farro Stuffed Zucchini
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: 6 servings||Total:|
This easy and healthy vegetarian stuffed zucchini is a great way to use up late summer produce!
- For the stuffed zucchini:
- 3 medium zucchini
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups farro (I used 1 8.80 oz. package of Full Circle Quick Italian Farro)
- The amount of water, vegetable broth, or vegetable stock required to cook the farro according to package directions (I used just under 3 cups for my brand)
- Juice from 1 lemon
- ¼ to ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ to ½ cup chopped or torn fresh basil
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- A couple pinches of red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For the tomato bruschetta:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. chopped or torn fresh basil
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 medium tomatoes, diced
- 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For the bruschetta, throw the chopped tomatoes in a large bowl and season with salt, pepper, garlic, basil, oil, and cheese. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight. Bring back to room temperature before serving.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the ends off of the zucchini, halve them lengthwise, and scoop the seeds out of the middle with a spoon.
- Place the zucchini in a 9x13-inch baking dish and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Pre-roast the zucchini for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of the zucchini, and then remove from the oven.
- While the zucchini bakes, cook the farro according to package directions. (You may want to start this earlier if you do not have a quick-cooking blend!)
- When the farro is done, stir in the fresh herbs, lemon juice, about two tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Taste it. Does it need more seasoning? Do it!
- Scoop the farro mixture into the middle of each zucchini half. (Don’t worry if some of the grains spill out over the sides – they get crispy and delicious in the oven!) Top each stuffed zucchini with a couple of slices of fresh mozzarella.
- Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.
- Uncover and bake an additional five minutes until the mozzarella is lightly browned and bubbling.
- Top the zucchini with the tomato bruschetta and garnish with some extra herbs and grated cheese, if desired.
- Tell anyone being snooty about zucchini to pretend it’s chicken and eat this delicious, nutritious, piece of love that you have prepared. (That last part might just be me.)
Tomato Bruschetta recipe from Taste of Home
Emmy is always happy about what she gets for dinner. (I love when she sits like that with her little paw!!)