Friday, August 6, 2010

Parmesan Stuffed Tomatoes

I am (admittedly) a total freak. I don't like tomatoes...or at least I didn't ever like tomatoes. As a child (and adult) I would pick the tomatoes off my salads, burgers, sandwiches, etc. and dutifully scrape off anything that touched tomato juice or seeds. My aversion was very strong, bordering on maniacal. Then I got my garden and started growing the most gorgeous tomatoes. This piqued my curiosity and now I am an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. I am making tomato everything. I still don't love them raw, but once I get some carmelization on them, tomatoes might be my new favorite thing. I never thought I'd see the day. This recipe is simple and so good that Mark didn't look up from his plate the whole time, except to peek over at me to see what technique I was using to shovel every morsel into my mouth as quickly as possible. It made a nice, light dinner for us, but would also double as side dish for a bigger meal.
Parmesan Stuffed Tomatoes
4 tomatoes (I had 2 large and 2 small ones - 4 medium would work)
1 2-inch thick slice of leftover bread
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 fat garlic clove
1 large or 2 small scallions
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. Italian spice mix (Mark had this in his spice rack so I used it, but you can sprinkle dried basil, oregano, or anything that you've got handy)

You don't scare me anymore, tomatoes!
1. Slice off the tops of the tomatoes and use a spoon to scoop out the meat of the tomato. It doesn't have to be pretty since we are stuffing it. I used a small knife to get things started and then scooped the rest. Sprinkle salt and pepper into the tomato cups.
2. Roughly chop the garlic and white part of the scallion and add to a bowl.
3. Breadcrumbs are often used in stuffed tomatoes, but I wanted more heft and I had an old loaf of bread sitting around. I cut one big slice into very small cubes (about 1/2 cup) and added it to the bowl. Also dice the tomato that you scooped out and add that to the bowl.
4. Add 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (I used a box grater to get bigger hunks, but if you have pre-grated, that should work too) and oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and Italian spices and mix. Since my tomatoes were pretty juicy my mixture was damp, but not sopping. If yours feels very dry, add a Tbs. of water.
5. Stuff the tomatoes with the mixture. Don't be afraid to really squish it in there. You want them jam packed with flavor. Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and olive oil over the tops.
6. Bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes until the tops are crispy and oozing with cheesy goodness.
7. Enjoy!


  1. You like tomatoes now? Man, this is disappointing. I was hoarding them in our CSA collection. I'm happy to share if that means I can eat these divine little creations. Or just because I believe in justice.


  2. SAME! I only like them cooked. It all started with a warm pasta salad made with grape tomatoes cooked down into a chunky sauce. LOVE. This looks amazing, will make soon. Maybe with fish as a main.

  3. Oh good. At least I am not the only crazy tomato person. Being from New Jersey, I felt that my tomato aversion was particularly offensive :) These were really really good, but I think anything covered with cheese is amazing.

  4. there is drool on my keyboard. i will demand these at our next soiree.