Tomatoes are one of my favorite vegetables (or fruit, whatever). The thing about the average tomato in the Dutch supermarket is, you never know what to expect. One day they’re orange and tasteless, the next they’re watery and hard. And if there’s one thing that turns me off, it’s watery, tasteless tomatoes.

Tomato Day with JOYN

Recently I discovered the JOYN tomato which has a consistent sweet and savory taste. Another plus is they are locally grown with biological pest control. I was introduced to these tomatoes a few weeks ago when I was invited by Looye Kwekers to try them out on a cooking event with a chef who worked in several Michelin star restaurants. Together with a bunch of serious foodies we were asked to make a dish with JOYN tomatoes. We were divided into groups and our group got the theme ‘Italian kitchen’. We made a tomato risotto, tomato bruschetta and colorful ratatouille rolls with grilled aubergine, courgette and… tomato!  At the end of the evening all the groups came together to have an abundant tomato dinner – it was a fun day with lots of inspiring dishes. After that we all got a bag full of JOYN tomatoes to create new recipes.

The Recipe: Stuffed Tomatoes with Quinoa and Vegan Pesto

These Vegan Stuffed Tomatoes with Quinoa and Pesto are the perfect side dish for a dinner party or as a bite paired with some drinks. I used the JOYN tomatoes for this dish because they have a handy size, which means you don’t really have to eat them with cutlery. The deep red color makes them just look very appetizing.

JOYN vegan stuffed tomatoes quinoa pesto

Ingredients for 10 tomatoes:
  • 10 (JOYN) tomatoes
  • 1/4 courgette
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/4 (yellow) bell pepper
  • 1/2 bouillon cube, vegetable
  • 75gr quinoa
  • 20 gr. pine nuts
  • olive oil
For the pesto:
  • 30 gr. basil
  • 50 gr. pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic glove

Start by cooking the quinoa with the bouillon. In the meanwhile cut the top of the tomatoes and seed them. Then dice the tops of the tomatoes and set aside. Pre-heat the oven on 180° C.

Throw all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor, while saving some basil leaves for the topping later on. Flavor with some salt, pepper and/or a few drops of agave syrup if needed.

Now put some olive oil in a pan and fry the onions. Then throw in the garlic and after a minute the zucchini, bell pepper and diced tomato tops as well. Let it simmer for a few minutes until soft. Roast the pine nuts and set aside.

Now mix the quinoa, vegetables, pesto and pine nuts but save some pine nuts for the topping later on. Fill the tomatoes with the mixture, put them in a baking dish greased with some olive oil and place in the oven for 30 minutes.

Take out the tomatoes and top them off with the pine nuts and basil leaves. Enjoy!Vegan stuffed tomatoes with quinoa and pesto