I already had an embarrassment of riches in the tomato department when I stepped out to the Farmers' Market and loaded up on the heirlooms last Saturday. Hence, I've been eating even more tomato-toast than usual (oh, the Purple Prince tomato is delicious, cut thickly and layered on toast!), and finding other creative ways to use up a vegetable (okay, fruit, shut up!) that should never, ever be put in the fridge. While tomato sauce is always an option, I find myself seeking more and more interesting ways to dispatch my tomatoes. With a handful of particularly robust red globes aging gently on the kitchen counter, I set about making stuffed tomatoes.
The formula is fairly simple. For each three large tomatoes, you'll need a cup of cooked rice and about a cup of other ingredients. I chose finely minced prosciutto, about two tablespoons of toasted pine nuts, a little parsley, a little olive oil, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Cut the tops from your tomatoes, and scoop the innards out with a spoon. Let the tomatoes rest upside down briefly while you prepare the filling, to allow excess juices to drain. Place the tomatoes upright on a lightly spritzed dish - such as a pie plate - and heap the filling into them. Top with a little extra cheese, and pop into the oven for about 20 minutes at 425 F. Serve with garlic toast, spaghetti, or whatever strikes your somewhat Italian fancy.
Next time I might use a little more cheese, or perhaps an egg or a little pesto to help keep the filling from crumbling while the tomato is being eaten, but it was a charming dish as it was. I'm also considering a sort of spanakopita-type filling of spinach and feta for my next batch.