[Saturday Sides is a weekly feature I run to help you combat the side dish blahs. Check here Saturdays to see what’s new and different you can add to your dinner table. Or, you can subscribe here so that you never miss a Saturday Sides Recipe.]
As far as I know there’s basically two kinds of people out there.
Those who love stuffing.
Those who do not love stuffing.
I personally do love stuffing. But, I understand if you do not. My daughter loves bread pudding. I do not. See how that works? Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
If you happen to be one of those folks who do not like stuffing, then you might try one of these previous favorite Saturday Sides and I’ll meet you right back here next week, o.k.?
So, moving right along. Today I am offering a dish that I wasn’t sure I would love. I do like stuffing, but I’m not overly thrilled with the idea of stuffing a tomato. It probably comes from my long history of stuffed green pepper snubbing. I kept telling myself that even though stuffed tomatoes and stuffed green peppers look somewhat alike, stuffed tomatoes couldn’t possibly be that bad. Thankfully, I was able to overcome my hesitation . . . and I’m so glad I did because stuffed tomatoes are very delectable! Stuffed green peppers on the other hand? Yeah, I’m still not feeling the love there.
I was concerned that these would take a really long time to make, but I was able to crank them out in about 50 minutes, which is saying a lot because I am S-L-O-W. Add in the fact that I have to take a bunch of pictures and let’s just say turtles could run by me when I’m working in the kitchen. They take 30 minutes to bake, so twenty minutes of prep for me is really quite speedy.
The stuffing is made with onion, garlic, herbs and Parmesan and it is wonderfully fragrant and tasty. I had to use dried herbs because of the horrible selection at the market. Would someone PUH-LEASE write a letter to Hillary or Tina Fey or someone with some clout and ask her to do something about my lack of decent market selections because I keep writing letters and no one seems to be listening to me!
Nevertheless, even with my puny dried herbs, my mouth was still watering when today’s Saturday Side was cooking – OH! The smells coming from the kitchen! I can’t even imagine how wonderful they would be with fresh basil and parsley. (Please do let me know if you have the chance to try it that way.)
And. Bonus! These could be used not only as a side dish, but also as an appetizer. You could stuff them, cover them and refrigerate until right before your guests arrive. Then pull them out and bake them as people are arriving. Cherry tomato size is natures’ way of saying “Snack Size!”
Well, here you go. These are a complete winner in my book. I hope you love them!
Adapted from All You
2 large tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chooped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dry parsley, or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon dry basil, or 1 tablespoon fresh
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 egg white, beaten
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Cut tomatoes in half and scrape out the insides. Set aside the tomato pulp. It’s easier to scrape out the insides if you cut around the inner rim of the tomato and I’ve found the best luck using my melon baller.
Squish the pulp of the tomatoes through a sieve to create tomato juice. Discard the pulp and keep the juice.
Melt the butter and a splash of olive oil in a small pan over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in bread crumbs, herbs and cheese. Add the egg white and enough of the tomato juice to moisten the stuffing completely (I used about 2 tablespoons).
I used Aunt Millie’s bread for the this stuffing and it was great. Any fresh bread will do fine!
Stuff the tomatoes evenly and place them in a small baking dish or pie plate. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven when the top of the stuffing is brown and crisp.
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