To make stuffed tomatoes, first you need tomatoes. Those we have got. Then you need stuffing. They sell that at the supermarket, in butcher shops, and in charcuteries in France. That makes it easy.
The stuffing is ground pork with seasonings already in it: garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. You can add some more, of course. I added dried thyme, fennel seeds, and some more garlic and black pepper when I made tomates farcies the other day. Chopped onion would be a good addition. The stuffing is sold as farce à tomates. Or you can buy chair à saucisses — sausage meat, which is just ground pork. Fancier meat stuffings — farce fine, for example — might include some ground veal.
Anyway, I've been reading that there is a tomato shortage on the U.S. East Coast. A lot of fields of tomatoes and back-yard gardens have been affected by something called "late blight,"which can also infect potatoes. It's a kind of mildew, I think — mildiou in French — and it attacked our tomatoes here in Saint-Aignan in 2007 and 2008. It attacks the grapes in the vineyards whenever conditions are warm and humid.
For once, our tomatoes are completely healthy. The weather is extremely dry. Our yard is brown and crispy. We don't water it. We do water the vegetable garden, as much as we have to. On TV, they said we are under water restrictions here in the Centre region, but we have gotten no official notification of that.
This text is designed just to "frame" my pictures of the stuffed tomatoes, which are the best I think I've ever made ... or eaten. Fennel seeds give the stuffing a really nice anisy flavor. Put the stuffing in raw, with a little raw rice in the bottom of each hollowed-out tomato. The rice will cook and soak up some of the tomato and meat liquid.