These easy stuffed tomatoes are a great way to use those end-of-season beauties.
Great In Any Season
Tomatoes must be everyone’s favorite veggie–even though it’s actually a fruit by classification.
So many of us grow them therefore, there’s always an excess at the end of the growing season. If you don’t grow them yourself, then I’m sure you notice that farmer’s markets and even the supermarkets are packed with them.
Of course the best choice for this recipe is home-grown ones. Their flavor is second to none, but you can find great-tasting varieties in the stores too. Plus you can find great tomatoes in stores year round so these stuffed beauties don’t only have to be a summer treat.
The Stuffed Tomato
Stuffed tomatoes have been around since the year of the flood so this is hardly my original idea!
Memories of stuffed tomatoes, at least to me, are associated with “ladies lunches” from the 1950s or 1960s. I can see the women’s magazines with pics of tomatoes stuffed with tuna or shrimp salad. Any you know what? They are still yummy despite the age of those recipes.
Years ago, a friend used to make up a lunch for him and another friend after their strenuous tennis game. He said this meal was light yet packed a lot of what was necessary after sustained exercise–mainly to “carb up.” He made these tomatoes for me and they were just delicious. However, he didn’t bake the tomato–everything was raw.
I thought about Ed’s tomatoes just recently and thought I’d like to do my own version. And can you believe it, with less garlic!!! He was a bigger fan of garlic than me, if you could believe it.
To Cook Or Not To Cook
There are a few choices here when it comes to how to serve these stuffed tomatoes.
You could do like Ed and just stuff them and serve them right away. Likewise, you can merely pop them under the broiler to toast the top of the crumbs–which essentially is the same as the first way except the presentation is nicer. Baking or grilling them of course warms them so I find that the best method if you are serving this as a side dish with other hot food. It also makes the tomato a little juicy and to me that adds a lot of flavor.
Try them all ways and see which you like best!
- 6 large, ripe tomatoes
- 4 cups fresh soft bread crumbs
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan -OR- Romano cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 stick butter (4 oz)
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- ½ tsp pepper or to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. If you are putting them on the BBQ grill, preheat the grill to high heat.
- Cut off the tops of the tomatoes at the stem end, then scoop out the seeds and spines. I use a melon baller for this. Place the hollowed-out tomatoes cut side down on a paper towel lined plate.
- For the stuffing, place the bread crumbs in a large bowl and melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is just soft; about 3 minutes.
- Add the onion/butter mixture to the bread crumbs then add the cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Fill each tomato cavity with the stuffing mixture, letting it mound up on the top.
- Bake or grill about 5-10 minutes or until the tomato is just beginning to get soft. If you want more browning on the top of the stuffing, pop them under the broiler for a minute or two.