Quick Stuffed Vegetables

Use any of the savory fillings below to stuff:

* Cucumbers cut into slices with part of the center hollowed out

* Cherry tomatoes hollowed out, lightly salted, and allowed to drain upside down on paper towels for 15 minutes

* Canned artichoke bottoms drained and patted dry with paper towels

* Belgian Endive separated, rinsed, and patted dry with paper towels

Use the Mascarpone-Almond Filling to top:

* Fresh dates or figs, halved

* Fresh pears, halved and cored

Assorted fillings for stuffed vegetables:

Black Bean Filling:


Place the following ingredients into the bowl of a food processor:

1 16-oz. can black beans, drained

2 large garlic cloves, pressed

3 tbsp. chopped onion

2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 tsp. fresh limejuice

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. thyme

1 tbsp. water

Process until smooth, adding additional water if filling is too thick. Garnish with finely chopped fresh cilantro.

Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Filling:

Combine the following ingredients in the bowl of a food processor:

1 7-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

1 6-oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup drained capers

4 chopped garlic cloves

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Pulse until ingredients are combined, but not pureed. Garnish with finely chopped Italian parsley.

Hummus Filling:

Combine the following ingredients in the bowl of a food processor:

1 -15 1/2 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup sesame seed paste, also called tahini

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Process until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.

Mascarpone-Almond Filling:

Combine in a small bowl:

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp. slivered almonds, toasted and cooled

Garnish with toasted almonds, finely chopped.

All fillings can also be served as dips with fresh vegetables, toasted Italian bread slices, pita bread or pita chips.