TOMATO HALVES STUFFED WITH SUMMER VEGETABLES AND FETA CHEESE
4 large ripe unblemished tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup eggplant, peeled and diced
1/2 cup zucchini, diced
1 cup diced cremini or Portabello mushroom
1 teaspoon gingerroot, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, minced
1 tablespoon basil leaves, diced
2 ounces (1/2 cup) crumbled Feta cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Core and halve the tomatoes horizontally. First tease out the seeds and discard them. Then carefully scoop out the flesh of the tomato and save, taking care not to pierce the skin. Turn the halves cut side down on paper toweling to drain.
Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet. Saute the green pepper and onion pieces in the hot oil until they wilt. Skim the pieces into a dish. Add another tablespoon of oil and saute the eggplant and zucchini until they wilt and soften. Remove these pieces to the bowl with the peppers and onion. Add the last tablespoon of oil and saute the mushrooms and ginger for 1 minute over medium-high heat until the mushroom softens, add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more. Chop and stir in the tomato pieces. Return the other vegetables to the pan and cook until the juices are reduced.
Turn the ratatouille back into the bowl. Season with herbs and fold in the cheese. Fill the tomato halves with this mixture and set in a lightly oiled baking dish. Sprinkle the top of each filled tomato half a bit more cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the shell is tender but still firm enough to hold its shape.