Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hot Tomato!

When faced with an overabundance of tomatoes, i.e., you got them as "party favors" at Sunday's barbecue, you gotta find something to do with them! (Not that I am knocking getting them as party favors--in fact, they are some of the best party favors around, so a big shout out of thanks to Karen B. for not letting me leave without them!)

You can only eat so many 'mater sammiches, make so many salads, whip up so much salsa, before you throw in the towel on tomatoes, so howsabout stuffing some? I sort of cobbled together this recipe from a conglomeration of several. It's quick, goes well with steaks, which is what we had them with tonight, and is easy...easy is a good thing.

Baked Stuffed Tomatoes

6 medium tomatoes (I used red and yellow ones)

1 cup ricotta (whole or skim, doesn't matter)

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

10 basil leaves, chopped

2 sprigs of oregano, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg yolk

Salt & Pepper to taste

Olive oil

Shredded Parmesan or Mozzarella for topping

Preheat oven to 450° F. (I know!! It's summer! But it won't be on long...plus if you can figure out how to cook them on the grill, then more power to you and share that method with the rest of us, please!)

Make tomato cups out of your tomatoes by first taking a thin slice off the bottom, so they will sit flat. Cut the top off and carefully scoop out the insides with a melon ball scoop (Parisienne scoop in chef speak). It doesn't have to be perfectly cleaned out...you just need some room to put in the filling. Make sure you don't puncture the bottom...can you say goo all over the oven? I knew you could!

Season the inside of the tomatoes with a little salt and pepper and set aside while you make the filling.

Combine all the ingredients EXCEPT for the egg yolk. Season with salt and pepper and taste, adjusting the seasoning if necessary. Add the egg yolk and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture between the tomato cups. Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of a small baking dish (that square Pyrex dish works just fine). Put the tomatoes in the baking dish and top with some grated Parmesan or mozzarella.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the tomatoes, until cheese is melted and tomatoes are heated through.
Serve hot. Makes 3-6 servings, depending on how big the 'maters are. : )

You can adjust the amount of stuffing up and down, depending on how many tomatoes you have, how big they are, etc. No real hard and fast rules about them, which is nice. Add more garlic, more basil, etc., as you feel necessary. The Man really loves these babies, and asked for them frequently last summer. The combination of red and yellow is pretty, too.

Bon Tomatotite!

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