Tomato season will be upon us soon and I can’t wait — a freshly picked homegrown tomato is one of my top-five favorite foods, and maybe in my top three. I still like tomatoes when I can’t get them straight out of the garden, but am more likely to cook them since the quality isn’t quite the same.
The other day I found some decent-looking tomatoes on sale and decided to stuff them with cheese and breadcrumbs. Spinach also was on sale, so I figured I would add that to the mix as well as Parmesan/Reggiano cheese and some Gruyere that I already had at home. My last decision was between Italian breadcrumbs or panko. Time to experiment!
Ingredients (Makes 2-4 servings)
- 4 medium tomatoes
- 6 oz. fresh spinach, chopped fine
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- Juice from half of a large lemon
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup Parmesan/Reggiano cheese, grated
- ½ cup Gruyere cheese, grated
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs, plus 2 tablespoons more
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh parsley to taste
- Sea salt to taste
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
Cut off the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out the pulp and seeds. Dice up the meaty part of the tops (you should have about ½ cup) and set aside. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and turn upside down on a dish to let the juice drain.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach, diced tomatoes and garlic and saute for about two minutes. Add the wine and lemon juice and simmer for a few minutes.
Pour the mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Add the Parmesan/Reggiano, Gruyere, ½ cup of the panko, fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Blend together well.
Spoon mixture into each tomato and sprinkle the tops with the remaining panko.
Bake for 25 minutes or so, until the tops are nice and brown. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
This experiment turned out great – if I was in science class I’d get an A for sure! These are great as a side dish, or have two as a main meal.
These reheat well in the microwave — 30 seconds to a minute, depending on your particular oven. I can’t wait to try this recipe with garden-fresh tomatoes.
Eat, drink and be merry!
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