Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baked Tomatoes

Do you ever have a bunch of tomatoes about to go south because you don't put them in the fridge because cold turns off a flavor component in tomatoes that can never, ever be turned back on again? I do almost every week.

This is one of the two oven related way of cooking off said tomatoes and breathing new life into them. The other is roasting.

I improvised the stuffing with what was on hand.

Baked Tomatoes

A bunch of tomatoes
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
half of a small onion, chopped
a couple of garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Italian herb blend
salt and pepper
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise.

Squeeze the halves to remove some of the tomato water and seeds. You can use strained tomato water as a cold soup or drink base. I have not done this. Cold tomato based soups taste like V8 to me.

A great tool for removing the pulp is a grapefruit spoon. I do tend to scratch myself with the serrated edge on occasion but it does help you get through the stringier parts of tomatoes, squash and grapefruit.

Remove pulp, chop and set aside in a bowl. Place tomato halves cut side up on an oiled baking sheet. This would have worked better if I had placed them there already stuffed. It was rather fiddly and involved extra cleanup.

Season with salt and pepper. To the bowl with the tomato pulp add the bread crumbs, onion, garlic, herbs and salt & pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

Divide stuffing mixture between the tomato halves. Sprinkle with the cheese. I forgot about the cheese and added it halfway through the baking.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese and bread crumbs begin to brown. Let cool a bit and enjoy.


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