When I asked you a few weeks back what you'd like to see more of around here, many of you requested to see more savory dishes and entrees. While I've made the occasional savory dish in the past (like soup, pasta, or these BBQ mini sausages), the bulk of the recipes on this blog are buttery, sweet pastries. And, to be honest, I don't think that's ever going to change. This is about my affair with pastries and, while pastries can also be savory, I'm thoroughly attached at the hip with my good friends Butter and Sugar.
Nevertheless, from time to time I do like to experiment with my dinner (not just my dessert) so I'll make more of an effort to share these kitchen exploits with you.
The truth is that I'm a bit of a boring cook. I find myself eating the same foods week after week and, to some extent, I don't mind. These are the foods I have grown up with. Love them or not, they are a part of who I am.Since I'm currently living at home with my family, I have more than just my own tastes to please. My father can be a bit of a picky eater. Unfortunately, his eating habits leave most of my favorite dishes off the menu. He shuns many fruits and vegetarian dishes (a man needs meat, you know!). My sister would seem frightened of vegetables, only allowing corn and the occasional carrot to sneak into her mouth. My mother, on the other hand, tends to be a good sport about eating whatever I decide to put on the table as long as it doesn't have anything to do with tuna or garlic.
With all these preferences and tastes floating around, dinner is made much simpler by sticking to the foods my family has grown up eating together. These are the savory foods I choose to share with you—the dishes from my childhood. While new dishes can be fun and exciting, my family isn't necessarily the right audience for them. Like my father says, he knows what he likes. Why fix a menu that isn't broken?
Fortunately for you, dear reader, I managed to sneak these Parmesan Stuffed Tomatoes into Sunday brunch. I have been eyeing the idea of stuffed tomatoes for awhile and the time was long overdue to give them a shot. It took a couple tries to get these right, but once I did, the effort was completely worthwhile.
I want you to imagine a roasted tomato. Stuff it to the brim with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Add hints of onion, green pepper, and basil. Top it with more Parmesan and then melted butter, which seeps down deep into the tomato stuffing. Now, imagine this stuffed tomato in your own kitchen, in your own oven, on your own tableware. This can be your reality. This can be on your dinner table.
Parmesan Stuffed Tomatoes
Yields 4 servings
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated onion
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
4 teaspoons butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Wash the tomatoes thoroughly before slicing off the top of each tomato. Set the tops aside, for garnish. Using a spoon, very carefully scoop out the tomato pulp. Don't break the tomato walls! Drain the tomato pulp to get rid of liquids and set aside the pulp/seeds aside. Place the tomato shells upside down over a paper towel and drain.
In a small bowl, combine tomato pulp with onion, green pepper, salt, basil, pepper, and 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese. Carefully stuff into tomato cavities. Top tomatoes with remaining Parmesan cheese. Add a teaspoon of butter to the top of each tomato. Place tomatoes in a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool for a few minutes and serve hot.