We used to grow tomatoes in our backyard, in the tiny town where we lived. My late dad could do magic with anything he planted in the ground. Someone once told me I had an idyllic childhood. That’s after I told friends stories of all the fruit trees and vegetable crops that grew in our yard. It was routine for my mom to use vegetables from the garden for supper. Or if we needed a refreshment for a hot summer day, then we had several lime trees in the yard, and it was easy to make a tall glass of freshly-squeezed juice on a whim.
Once summer set in, the tomatoes my dad grew were bright red, fully ripe and very sweet. Mom did not hesitate to make this delightful stuffed tomatoes recipe. I remember this distinctly and the fresh, crunchy flavors of the vegetables in it. It was my favorite way to serve tomatoes. And today, in my own kitchen here in the USA, this is my go-to recipe for an easy “make ahead” salad.
My family and I live in an state that has the best tomatoes in the USA. I can’t help but look at these bright red succulent beauties and be reminded of the many terrific tomato recipes mom used to do.
This stuffed tomato salad is a classic. I chose to do this on a hot day that we were char-grilling our all-time favorite Filipino pork barbecue skewers. These vine-ripened tomatoes I got from the market were large, firm and easy to work with. I just washed them and sliced the top with a pairing knife.
Once the tomato was hollowed, I cut in cubes the meat from within it. Then I tossed in some fresh celery and cubed cucumbers and mixed in the mayo. I seasoned the salad and stuffed the tomato. After a few hours of chilling in the refrigerator, the stuffed tomatoes were ready to be paired with anything grilled, pan-seared, broiled, roasted, pasta or noodles or just as a meal in itself.
Thanks, Mom! I’ll always think of you when I stuff these adorable tomatoes!
This stuffed tomato salad is a classic. Once the fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes were washed and hollowed, I cubed the inside filling. I mixed it with cucumbers, corn kernels, sliced peppers, celery, mayonnaise and sandwich spread. I seasoned it and refrigerated the stuffed tomatoes for a few hours. They were a great "make ahead" salad or a meal in itself.
- whole tomatoes - 5 to 6 large
- cucumber - 1 large
- red bell pepper - 1/2 cup, cubed and seeded, membrane removed
- celery - 3/4 cup cubed
- mayonnaise - 1/3 cup
- sandwich spread - 1/3 cup
- salt - 1 teaspoon
- white pepper powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- lettuce leaves - a handful, for garnish
- fresh parsley - a bunch, chopped coarsely, for garnish
- corn kernels - 1/2 cup, cooked
- Wash the tomatoes, cut the stems and scoop out the center. Keep the tomato filling and cut into cubes. Use a grapefruit spoon or serrated knife to scoop out tomato.
- Mixed the cubed tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, corn kernels and bell peppers in a bowl.
- Toss in mayonnaise and sandwich spread. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stuff the hollowed tomatoes with 2 Tablespoons of the filling in each one. Place in a shallow platter. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours or more.
- Serve cold. Garnish with lettuce strips or freshly chopped parsley.