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stuffed tomatoes

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by joclyn on September 11, 2005 03:09 PM
i threw this together one day when someone gave me a bagful of tomatoes that were very ripe...i needed to do something immediately with them and wasn't able to get out to the store (car was in the shop) and just came up with something from what i happened to have on hand.

items needed: medium or large tomatoes - all the same size, crumbled blue or gorganzola, pumpernickle bread, fresh broccoli florets, garlic, onion, basil, salt, pepper, olive oil, butter

amounts are based on how many tomatoes you are doing - so i've just given estimates. it's a judgement call as well as personal preference on the ingredients. this is a very flexible recipe.

core the tomatoes and dig out the inside to remove the seeds - also some of the meat, but not all of it. separate the meat from the seeds and discard the seeds. chop the onion and mince a couple of garlic cloves (i happen to like a lot of garlic, but if you don't then you can cut back on it) and lightly saute in a bit of butter with a little basil & salt & pepper to taste. remove from heat. chop the broccoli florets into small pieces and mix them and whatever meat that was separated from the seeds into the onion/garlic. mix in the crumbled cheese.

cut the bread into cubes (leave the crust on) and then chop the cubes into small pieces - not quite crumbs, but almost. you can use a food processor or blender or just a knife (altho using the knife takes longer). add the bread crumbs to the vegy/cheese mix & blend all together. dribble in some olive oil and mix some more...the idea is to moisten the bread but not completely soak it. you can add more salt & pepper if you want.

stuff the tomatoes with the mixture (i always throw some more cheese on top); then drizzle a little bit more olive oil over the mixture and place in a baking pan (metal, ceramic, glass, no matter - just make sure it has sides) and then bake, uncovered, at 350 until the skin is just starting to peel away from the meat. small/medium size takes about 15 minutes.

key things: the tomatoes should be very close in size so that they all cook the same. i always slice a small sliver off the bottom so that the tomato will not tip over in the pan.

the mix should contain equal parts onion, broccoli, cheese and bread. 10 small to medium tomatoes should take 1 small onion, 1 cup cut broccoli, 1 cup cheese and 6 slices of bread (when the slices are 2 1/2 inches wide).

amounts really depend on how big the tomatoes are - and stating small, medium, large really is relative and a perception thing. what you consider small may be what i consider medium...so, use what i've said as a guide and as you're going along add more of the ingredients if you need to.

thing about the bread - i use bread from a bakery or the bakery dept at the supermarket...NOT the commercial/national brand stuff (like pepperidge farm or beefsteak).

these reheat very well in the microwave...so they're good for lunch the next day!

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