Remember how I said I was trying to cook healthier dishes at home? This isn’t one of them.
Here’s everything you need:
Three-Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes
- 4 medium-large tomatoes
- 1 small wheel of goat brie
- 1 small container of crumbled feta
- 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped basil
- olive oil & balsamic vinegar for seasoning
- salt & pepper to taste
First, prehat the oven to 400°. Next, rinse your tomatoes. If you need to, slice a little piece of the bottom of the tomatoes so they stand upright without wobbling. Then slice the tops off the tomatoes just beneath the stem.
Take a spoon and carefully carve the meat and seeds out of the tomatoes. You want to leave at least a half inch of thickness around the edges and the bottom. You can either freeze the leftover tomato bits to use in a batch of soup or chop up some of the hard pieces and mix them in with the cheese stuffing. I just threw mine away because I’m a wasteful, eco-unconscious cynic.
To make the stuffing, cut the brie in half. Using a spoon (or your fingers), scrape the soft cheese out of the middle of the rind and put it in a bowl. Once the rind is pretty much hollow, chop it into small pieces and add it to the bowl. It’ll melt later on and and lose it’s rough, bitter flavor. Add the small bin of crumbled feta. Chop the basil and add it to the cheese mixture as well. Season with a tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and mix well.
Stuff the tomatoes with equal amounts of the cheese and herb mixture. It’s okay if it doesn’t fill them all the way up.
In a separate bowl or plate, mix the panko and parmesan together. Use this to top off the tomatoes. Place on a roasting pan and drizzle some olive oil over the tomatoes.
Bake just until the cheese melts, about 5-10 minutes. When you see the cheese stuffing start bubbling and popping, switch the oven from bake to broil and cook with the oven door cracked until the breadcrumbs are nicely toasted. Remove and let the stuffed tomatoes cool slightly. Mourn in your own way for any casualties you may have suffered.
Finish with a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and dig in.
This was really rich and filling. The ripe tomatoes lost some of their water during the roasting process, making them really sweet. This is about as close as I get to making a dessert. Next time, I’ll use roma tomatoes cut in half and serve them as warm appetizers.