Not your standard Thanksgiving recipe

Gavriel, an Israeli chef, suggests stuffing tomatoes rather than turkey this Thanksgiving. “It’s a delicious and healthy meal. I studied cooking as part of the Ayurvedic holistic medical system from India so I’m always thinking about food that the body can digest – that serve the body well. My philosophy is to keep ingredients as natural and raw as possible while adding spices for extra taste.”

This type of balance is crucial to Gavriel’s cooking. “Israeli and Mediterranean food is a blend. I like to integrate different influences, including Arab cuisine that my grandmother, who came from Syria, taught me.”

Gavriel cooks with EatWith, where chefs around the world host local foodies and tourists for a home-cooked meal. “I love the close contact with people eating my food in my apartment. There is always an intimate, nervous moment immediately after you’ve served the meal. You’re standing there like a singer in front of an audience. Will they like it? And then everyone begins to eat and you can see, feel the enjoyment, and the compliments and food conversations start flowing. It’s great. I’m always thankful for that feeling.”

This Thanksgiving, cook with Gavriel.


Grilled tomatoes stuffed with beef

Ingredients (to serve 4)
12 medium-sized tomatoes

1 pound of beef from the neck, chuck or shoulder (for slow cooking) cut into large cubes
1 carrot chopped into small cubes
1 onion chopped into small cubes
½ bottle of chardonnay wine
3 cloves of garlic
¼ teaspoon of black pepper
¼ teaspoon of caraway seeds
1.8 oz. of pine nuts
½ teaspoon of brown sugar

4 ripe tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
5 tablespoons of olive oil
¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
Oregano leaves for garnish

Slice tops of the 12 tomatoes and gently scoop out pulp and seeds (save these to add to the sauce).

Blend 4 tomatoes plus tomato pulp and seeds in food processor. Strain through sieve to remove seeds and peel. Pan fry chopped garlic and black pepper in olive oil. Add the tomato sauce and cook gently for around one hour until the sauce is rich and thick. Then add salt.

Fry the onions and carrots on high heat until golden brown. Add caraway seeds and ground pepper while stirring. Be careful not to burn! Add meat and sear lightly. Add wine, pine nuts, sugar and a little of the cooked tomato sauce. Cover with water and cook gently, stirring occasionally until almost all the liquid has evaporated, the meat has crumbled and you have a moist, juicy stuffing.

Fill hollowed tomatoes with stuffing, attach tomato tops, and grill until lightly golden (about 20 minutes). Place in dish with sauce. Garnish with oregano. Serve.