As a child, I used to eat my side vegetables in a hurry so that I could go straight to dessert quickly. Well now as an adult, these Tomatoes Stuffed with Apples-Walnuts Salad Filling made me want to take things slow and easy at supper. This was one of the most enjoyable and easiest side vegetables to make and relish ever.
To clarify, tomato is a fruit, scientifically speaking. But we treat it as a vegetable when we put it in salads and main dishes as an ingredient. I have used the tomato as an ingredient in many Filipino recipes. And since I live in New Jersey, I have been told that our Jersey tomatoes are one of the best in the country. We enjoy these sweet tomatoes all year round so much that I had to research why Jersey tomatoes are revered.
What makes the Jersey tomato special? An archived New York Times article by Julia Moskin (“The Return of a Lost Jersey Tomato” July 2008 NY Times Dining & Wine) described the uniqueness of the Jersey tomato was set apart by “the memory of how tomatoes used to taste.”
It is said the memory of the Jersey tomato was so powerful that when seeds of a favorite tomato – the Ramapo, became unavailable in the late 1980s, the New Jersey state gardeners began a letter-writing campaign demanding that Rutgers University in New Brunswick bring it back. What resulted later on was amazing for all Jersey tomato fans. Rutgers then started a project of retrieving fragile seeds from a retired plant geneticist and sent them to Israel for germination. This signaled the return of the much-loved Ramapo tomato to the state. The Jersey tomato is simply a large, round red tomato. The article further validates what we have enjoyed all along : the tomato’s taste is a perfect balance of sweet and acid.
It didn’t take much convincing for me to make this recipe I had tucked in my notebook. There are always apples in our fruit bowl. The rest of the ingredients were right in my refrigerator. The creamy, luscious dressing of mayonnaise and sour cream was heavenly as it encased the diced tomatoes, sweet apples, tender chicken cubes, crunchy celery and walnuts. I had enough time to chill them in the refrigerator till we sat down to dinner. It’s tomato season and we are so ready with our tomatoes, the warmer weather and the barbecues all spring and summer long.
Tomatoes Stuffed with Apple-Walnut Salad Filling
- 6 large tomatoes Beefsteak variety, used for salads
- 2 large Fuji apples or delicious variety, peeled, diced
- 1 piece lemon
- 1/2 cup cooked chicken breast diced
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1/2 cup cubed sharp cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup walnuts chopped coarsely
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper powder
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- Prepare the tomatoes by slicing off the top. Scoop out the contents and chop the tomato filling into small cubes. Set aside.
- Peel and cut the apples into small cubes. Sprinkle with the juice of a one lemon. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the filling ingredients: chopped tomatoes, apples,celery, cooked chicken cubes, cheese, walnuts, mayonnaise, sour cream and raisins. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Stuff each of the tomatoes with the filling. Chill in the refrigerator till ready to serve. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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