Saturday, February 6, 2010

Vegetable Medley with Tomato Passata

This is one of those dishes that I've had at a restaurant and have re-created at home. In this case, the Venice in Albany. It's a vegetarian meal, but can be easily prepared for carnivores by the addition of some crumbed veal, pork or chicken.
This is a summer dish as you will need a lot of fresh ripe tomatoes. 

It sounds complicated as there are quite a number if steps involving a bit of preparation, but it's not difficult at all. If you happen to have some left over risotto, this is a great way to use it up. The stuffing ingredients can vary depending on what's in your fridge or garden.

Vegetable Medley with Tomato Passata
1. Zucchini stuffed with roasted pumpkin, fetta and topped with mozzarella
2. Tomatoes stuffed with zucchini, spinach and basil
3. Green Capsicum stuffed with mushroom (or vegetable) risotto.

Make the Tomato Passata first:
2 kg tomatoes
30ml olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp tomato paste
salt (requires quite a bit, but to your own taste) and pepper

Peel tomatoes by dropping into boiling water for a few seconds. Slit skin with a sharp knife and peel. Chop into quarters. Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil. Add tomatoes and simmer until tender. Add tomato paste and salt and pepper to taste. Blitz with a stick blender. Set aside.

While the Passata is cooking, make a Risotto of choice.  I make a Mushroom Risotto in the Thermomix because I don't have to worry about stirring it. I use a mixture of dried porcini, chantarelle and fresh mushrooms.

Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Allow one zucchini for three people. Chop half of the zucchini into tiny dice for the tomato filling. Hollow out the other half and place in a steamer basket.
Filling for Zucchini
olive oil
1 cup small dice pumpkin or sweet potato
1/2 onion, small dice
1/4 cup crumbled fetta

Saute pumpkin in oil until browned, add onion and sauté until softened. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add fetta and set aside. When zucchini half has been pre-steamed, (I use the Thermomix) press into cavity. Top with grated mozzarella.

Peel by piercing a few holes in each tomato and dropping into boiling water for a few seconds. Allow one tomato per person. Slice top from peeled tomatoes and remove seeds and flesh, leaving just a shell.
Filling for Tomatoes
1 Tbsp butter
diced zucchini
spinach leaves

Sauté zucchini in butter and when soft add spinach and torn basil leaves. Stir until wilted. Add freshly ground pepper to taste. Allow to cool and fill tomatoes. Top with fresh breadcrumbs and grated parmesan.

I find it's best to turn capsicums upside down as the stem end is more stable. Remove the stem and turn on it's end. Slice the top from each capsicum (1 small one per person or half a large one). De-seed and remove membranes. Place in steamer basket with zucchini and steam until just softened.

Fill with risotto and top with garlic breadcrumbs and mozzarella.

Mushroom Risotto, Pumpkin ( haven't added fetta yet), Zucchini/Spinach
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Place all stuffed vegetables into a wide dish, such as a lasagne dish and place enough Tomato Passata in to cover base of pan to 1 cm depth. Place dish in oven for about 20  minutes to 1/2 an hour or until tomato is softened and toppings are cooked and browned. While this is cooking, put the remaining Passata in a saucepan and heat gently on the stove.
Place each vegetable on a serving plate, cutting zucchini into portions and spoon sauce around base to cover plate. Top with sprigs of basil or parsley. Add crumbed veal, pork chops or crumbed chicken for the carnivores.

Unfortunately, this was devoured before I had a chance to photograph the finished product!

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