Stuffed Baked Tomatoes

These are easy and totally versatile, put whatever you like in the stuffing, clean out the fridge, whatever works for you…do it.

2 large tomatoes
1 cup or so of hearty bread, cut into small cubes
1 egg
1/4 cup Swiss or Gruyere, grated
1/2 large shallot or
1/4 cup onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
Some breadcrumbs
A bit of grated parm cheese
Olive oil

Other stuff, basically, whatever you have that seems good. I used a bit of cut up fresh basil, some fresh thyme leaves, 1 tsp of Italian seasoning, a couple of chopped up mushrooms.

Set oven to 400 F.

Method 1: Cut the top off the tomatoes and core out the hard center. Take a thin slice off the bottom so it stands solidly upright. With a small knife or spoon, remove the pulp but keep a thin wall of tomato. Dice up the pulp and put into a mixing bowl. Put the tomato shells on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil to help with the mess.

Take a couple pieces of hearty bread, a bit stale is better, and either run in a processor to make crumbs or, my preferred method, cut into small dice. Add to the bowl. Break the egg into the bowl. Add the cheese. Add seasonings that you desire, chopped mushroom, salt and pepper. Drizzle in a bit of olive oil. Mix well and let sit 5 or 10 minutes to absorb and firm up. Fill tomato shells with the stuffing, mounding high. Top with breadcrumbs, grated parm, and another drizzle of oil (or spray with cooking spray). Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until cooked to your liking.

Method 2: Instead of hollowing out the tomatoes, cut them in half with a slice off the bottom to keep them steady. Salt and pepper. Mix the filling and simply mound it on top of the tomato. Top with breadcrumbs, parm, and olive oil. Bake.

Things you can put into the stuffing. Pretty much whatever you like. Zucchini, ham, spinach, cabbage, corn, peppers, whatever you have in the fridge you want to use up.

This went excellent with grilled fish, but could also be the base for a vegetarian meal or good with steak or pork chops.