Monday, February 13, 2012

Stuffed Tomatoes - 3 ways!

The tomato is quite possibly THE most versatile veggie there is.....or should I say, most versatile FRUIT! Which would then make the potato the front runner when it comes to versatility. And we all know how much I love potatoes - sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes - you name it!

But back to fruit....Tomatoes are awesome! They can take on just about any nationality at any given moment and work wonders. It makes sauce, salsa, soup, a sandwich filler, a burger topper. Tomatoes can be just about talented chameleons....or really good scam artists...Or not. Perhaps they're simply a versatile cooking staple...

In any case, stuffing tomatoes is just about one of the funnest things you can do with 'em! Yes, I know "funnest" is not a word. I make up my own words quite often, get used to it. And talk about versatility - you can stuff these babies with just about anything! Well, not anything.... I would not recommend stuffing them with rocks, mud or leaves (my children's go-to mirepoix when "cooking dinner" in the yard). I strongly suggest cooking this dish in the actual kitchen.

So here are my 3 varieties when stuffing tomatoes - Italian style:

Cut the tops off of your tomatoes. Remove the inside, discarding the seeds and juice but saving the pulp. Stiff the empty tomatoes as follows:

Herb & Bread Crumb Stuffing
With this one I just mixed Italian seasoned bread crumbs, fresh parsley, grated romano cheese, and enough e.v.o.o. to make the mixture like wet sand. Mix in some of the tomato pulp. Top it with some shredded mozarella and romano cheeses and bake it off! YUM

Sausage, Herb, and Breadcrumb Stuffing
This one was by far my FAVORITE mix. I used the same method above (the herbs & bread crumbs & tomato) and added cooked ground Italian Sausage (out of the casing) and wow was that amazing! Top with the cheeses and bake.

Sausage & Rice stuffing
This one had no bread crumbs. I still used fresh parsley, tomatoes and cooked sausage. I mixed that with some cooked rice, lots of grated cheese, and a splash of white wine vinegar. Top with cheeses and bake. Here they are, ready to eat!

These are seriously SO easy to make. The only important thing to remember is to thoroughly mix your fillings before putting them into your tomatoes. I also placed the tomatoes really close together to bake so as to give them some stability in the oven. They held up very well. Buon Appetito!

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