Kasha Stuffed Tomatoes

Course : Appetizers
Serves: 6
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6 large firm -- ripe tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup scallions -- thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 medium celery rib -- chopped
1 cup mushrooms -- chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon egg replacer -- powdered
1/4 cup water
1 cup uncooked kasha
2 cups hot vegetable broth
1/4 cup wheatgerm
1/4 cup pine nuts -- chopped
1/4 cup italian parsley -- chopped
1/2 teaspoon thyme

Preparation / Directions:

TO PREPARE TOMATOES: Slice off and reserve the top 1/2" from each tomato. Carefully scoop out the insides, leaving a 1/2" shell. Separate the seeds from the pulp with a sharp utensil and discard them. Coarsely chop the pulp and set aside. Sprinkle the insides of the shells with salt and invert on a rack to drain for 20 minutes. STUFFING: In a large pot, saute scallions, garlic, celery and mushrooms in 4 ts oil until softened, about 5 minutes. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg replacer and water. Stir in the kasha, mixing well. Add the kasha mixture to mushroom mixture, stirring to separate the grains. Add the hot broth and tomato pulp. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and simmer until the broth is abosrbed, 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the wheatgerm, pine nuts, parsley and thyme. TO ASSEMBLE: Preheat oven to 350F and oil a shallow baking dish. Arrange the tomato shells in the dish and fill with stuffing. Bake for 20 minutes. Place reserved tops on the tomatoes, brush with the remaining oil. Bake another 10 minutes and then serve immediately.

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