Stuffed Tomatoes

 

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This recipe is a great way to tide over your desire for fresh tomatoes when they are out of season.  Today the need for tomatoes grew to overwhelming proportions after inspecting the seed cups where I planted tomato seeds.  The merest seedlings are peeking above the soil, and I admit to great impatience.  The stuffing I adapted from my stuffed mushroom recipe, chopping up the pulp of a tomato rather than mushroom stems.  To be palatable, you still need to use the best tomatoes you can find.  I recommend an organic hothouse option.  Tonight I used Ugliripe tomatoes from Florida – these are the only ones I can find that actually taste of real tomatoes when the fruits are out of season and I can’t squelch a craving. 

Stuffed Tomatoes

 

  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 C white wine
  • 10-13 leaves basil, chopped
  • 1 large handful parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 C plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 – 1/4 C pine nuts

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Drizzle a baking dish with the olive oil.  Slice very thin slices from the bottoms of the tomatoes, being careful not to puncture or slice into the inner cavity of the fruit, so that they can rest flat in the baking dish.  Cut off the tops of the tomatoes, and run a knife around the inside of the fruit to loosen the seeds and pulp.  Scoop out the pulp, reserving the flesh from one of the tomatoes.  Discard the seeds (it may help to run water into the cavities and sweep your finger around to clear them of seeds).  Place the hollowed tomatoes and tops in the baking dish, and season them with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  Heat a large skillet with high walls over medium-high heat.  Add 2 T of olive oil and the butter.  When the butter has melted, add the shallots, garlic, and red pepper to the pan.  Chop the reserved tomato pulp and slices from the bottoms of the tomatoes.  Add to the garlic mixture.  Saute 3-5 minutes until the tomatoes just start to breakdown.  Add the wine and reduce until it is nearly gone.  Add the basil and parsley and stir to wilt the basil.  Add bread crumbs and combine to absorb liquid.  Stir in cheese and pine nuts, and toss for 2 minutes to toast the pine nuts and release their oils.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.  Remove the mixture from heat and pack the stuffing firmly into the hollowed tomatoes.  Mound the stuffing high, and scatter any leftover stuffing into the bottom of the baking dish.  Bake for 10 minutes to crisp the stuffing.  Remove from the oven, and serve with the “lids” replaced on the tops of the tomatoes.  Garnish the tops with whole basil leaves.  Tonight I served these on beds of lemon orzo.

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3 thoughts on “Stuffed Tomatoes

  1. Abby – the same stuffing should work just as well for the tomatoes as your peppers. You should post it! I love tasty things stuffed with more tasty things.

    Jenn – I thought so hard about using rice or orzo in the stuffing! I think I am going to have to try a new one soon. (Fingers are crossed that the tomatoes growing on the patio yield many such treats).

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