I'm in love with heirloom tomatoes! I've always loved tomatoes – any shape, color or size – but heirlooms hold all the flavor that I remember from my childhood. My parents had a huge vegetable garden and of course, they grew tomatoes. I remember one summer in particular when my mom got me hooked on tomato sandwiches. A good crusty bread, a slather of “real” mayonnaise (none of that Miracle Whip garbage here!), and fresh tomatoes from the garden…I'm salivating just thinking about them. Of course, we'd toss a slice of bacon or two on them occasionally, but the plain janes had so much flavor and texture it wasn't really even necessary. (I know, I know…bacon unnecessary? Is that possible?)
Of course, back then they weren't yet considered heirlooms; in those days they were just your run-of-the-mill tomatoes. I'm glad there's been a resurgence toward these delicious beauties since the plastic supermarket kind just aren't very good – in fact, they're usually pretty bad. I'm growing my own heirlooms this year since they're pretty expensive in the store or even at the farmer's market, but since mine aren't quite ripe yet, I broke down and bought these locally grown beauties last weekend. My plan was to make a fresh salad with them, but they were just so pretty I decided to do something that would make a pretty presentation as well.
And so…here's the recipe for stuffed heirloom baby tomatoes! They're to die for! If you love heirlooms as much as I clearly do, then I highly suggest trying this easy recipe. They're garlicky and cheesy and tomatoey! I did a “test run” for lunch today and loved them so much I'm making a repeat for dinner, too!
Stuffed Baby Heirloom Tomatoes
- 12 baby heirloom tomatoes
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1 – 2 teaspoons minced italian parsley
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon oregano or italian seasoning (or just chop up some fresh basil…yum!)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, more if needed
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cut the tops off the tomatoes and, using a spoon or corer, hollow out the middle. Slice a razor thin slice off the bottom of each tomato to help them stand upright. Combine the mozzarella, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, oregano, and olive oil (toss your crushed red peppers in now, too). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the stuffing in the tomatoes and roast for 8 – 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Watch them carefully since you don't want the filling to overflow. Serve and enjoy!