Lemon, Garlic and Cilantro Baked Stuffed Tomatoes
These big stuffed tomatoes are colorful as a side dish. Or, serve up two for lunch! For a complete meal that’s suitable for company, serve with Surf and Turf Salad.
Stuffed baked tomatoes not only make an impressive presentation for a dinner party, but they’re also a great alternative to a starchy side dish. –RR
- 2 beefsteak tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 3/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
Pre-heat oven 450°F.
For this recipe, you need to make four tomato cups out of your two tomatoes. To do so, cut a very thin slice off both ends of each of the two tomatoes – this is to create four flat bottoms. Then, cut each tomato in half across its circumference. You should have four cup shapes, using the thinly sliced side as the bottom of the cups.
To create a cavity, use a melon ball scoop to remove the seeds and pulp from the wide, fleshy side of each tomato cup. You don’t have to be too fussy about this. You are just trying to create enough room to hold the filling. When scooping, take some care not to puncture through the bottoms of the cups. If you do puncture it, don’t worry, it is not the end of the world, just keep moving forward. Season the inside of the tomato cavities with salt and pepper. Reserve the seasoned tomato cups while you make the filling.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, cilantro, parsley, garlic, scallions and Parmigiano Reggiano and season with salt and pepper. Taste the mixture. This is your last chance to adjust the seasoning. Once you’re happy with the flavor, add the egg yolk and mix thoroughly.
Divide the filling between the four tomato cup cavities, pushing it into the cavity with a rubber spatula or spoon. Drizzle EVOO into a baking dish. Arrange your stuffed tomatoes in the dish, transfer to the hot oven, and bake for 15-17 minutes. The stuffing and the tomatoes should be fully cooked and the top should be lightly brown.