Baked Stuffed Tomatoes

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Click To Enlarge Photo: John Bray

Recipe by Jesse Cool
August 2000
from issue #28

Baked Stuffed Tomatoes

6 servings

This stuffing is an adaptation of one my grandmother used in artichokes. As they bake, the stuffing and the tomato meld together. These stuffed tomatoes are best served slightly warm or at room temperature.

4 slices of bread, finely torn
1⁄4 cup toasted pine nuts
1⁄2 cup finely chopped basil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1⁄2 cup plus 2 Tbs. grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
About 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 medium stuffing tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Toast the torn bread on a baking sheet for 15 minutes, until slightly brown. Remove to cool.

Turn the oven temperature down to 375˚F. In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine the toasted bread, pine nuts, basil, garlic, 1⁄2 cup cheese, and the egg. Drizzle enough olive oil over all to moisten; the amount will depend on the dryness of the toasted bread. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Seed clusters removed

The seed clusters in stuffing tomatoes can be removed easily because they don't adhere to the walls of the fruit.

Once the cluster is removed, the empty tomato is ready for stuffing.
Stuff with filling
Slice off the top of the tomatoes about a quarter of the way down and scoop out the seed cluster. Stuff the cavities with filling, packing it in tightly enough that it will hold together. Sprinkle the filling with the remaining cheese.
Place the stuffed tomatoes, caps off, on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, depending upon size. The stuffing must be hot, the top browned, and the tomato softened. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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