Sunday, September 11, 2011

Eat: Yummy Stuffed Tomatoes!

Wow. That is the best word to describe this recipe for veggie-stuffed tomatoes. At first blush, it may present as too labor intensive, but it was actually quite fun! In fact, I managed to throw this dish together at the end of a busy and tiring day. I was faced with the usual quandary of what to make for dinner and resolved to find something to do with two ripe tomatoes that my father-in-law had recently given us. After a series of online searches for "recipe, two tomatoes", I stumbled upon this gem. The recipe blends a plethora of healthy ingredients into a savory and delicious meal. What's more, it presents beautifully on top of a plate of pasta. My husband was very impressed and we both loved it. This dish combines interesting textures and offers a unique alternative to traditional pasta sauce. I definitely plan to make it again soon!

TIME: 40 minutes (prep and cooking)
YIELDS: 2 servings

2 medium tomatoes
3-4 baby carrots, coarsely chopped (or 1/2 small carrot)
1-2 scallions, chopped
1/2 small onion, peeled
1 small garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine or broth
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3-4 fresh basil leaves, sliced

Optional: a few handfuls of pasta, oil, and additional Parmesan.

Begin by thinly cutting off the top of each tomato (approximately 1/2" slices). Scrape out the interior, leaving a 1/4 to 1/2" thick shell. Set aside the pulp for later.

If either tomato won't stand upright, slice off a very thin layer from the bottom. Sit the newly carved tomatoes upside down on a paper towel to drain any excess fluid.

Combine the carrots, scallions, onion, garlic and reserved pulp in a food processor. Run the processor until all of the ingredients are chopped and well blended.

Pour the vegetable mixture (it will be somewhat soupy) into a large skillet with heated oil. After a few minutes, add the wine or broth and bring to a boil. Allow the mix to simmer (uncovered) for 2+ minutes until the liquid is reduced by half. If the blend still seems to have too much liquid, do not worry. The soon to be added cheese and breadcrumbs will take care of it.

Remove the skillet from heat and let it cool briefly. Stir in the parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, oregano, and basil.

Now the fun part! Using a small spoon, fill each tomato with the veggie blend.

Place the tomatoes in a shallow baking dish (coated with butter or cooking spray). Bake for 20 minutes at 350°.

While the tomatoes are baking, you can cook as much pasta as you like. I used spaghetti but any type should work well enough. Toss the cooked pasta with some oil and a pinch of grated Parmesan cheese. Place each tomato on top of a stack of plated pasta.

Note: Removing the tomatoes from their baking dish may require some fancy maneuvering with a fork. The tomatoes may split open (as one of mine did) which will make the process a bit more delicate.


This week's recipe came courtesy of Taste of Home .

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