I have been having a fantastic time in the past year just walking through doors that are opening for me in “foodie” circles. It has shown me several things. For instance, if you love people, many of them will love you back. Also, if you do what you love doing, even if you are doing it for no pay, your passion and knowledge will grow. Additionally, if God gives you an opportunity that seems scary and that you wouldn’t normally be brave enough to do, say YES! That’s what I’ve seen in my life in the past year. It has been a beautiful whirlwind of learning, joy, and new friendships.
The latest thing that happened in this regard is the opportunity I had to yesterday join the Freshologists at the new Brookshires FRESH grocery store (Freshologists are the store’s own team of foodies who will demo and teach in the store’s kitchen) to talk with them about doing live cooking demos. It was really fun to meet them, learn about what they’ll be doing there, cook with them, and visit the amazing new store (read: foodie mecca) in Tyler. It was just amazing. We practiced with a recipe that I brought for them which is simple and delicious, with a huge flavor payoff: savory stuffed tomatoes. (By the way: this dish was the big oven’s maiden voyage into the culinary seas! MamaSteph kicked it off!) 🙂
Let me share with you this simple side dish which is great when made with hothouse tomatoes in the colder months, but which will EXPLODE with flavor when used in the summer with perfect, at-their-peak tomatoes. It looks like you’ve worked hard to make such a pretty dish, but truly, it is fast to put together, and simple, too.
Savory Stuffed Tomatoes
adapted from a recipe at http://www.ourchocolateshavings.com
3 large plump tomatoes, halved
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup of breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, preferably flat-leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Grated parmesan cheese, for topping.
Preheat your oven to 375F. Lay out the tomatoes seed side up, in a large oven-proof baking dish. Scoop out some of the seeds to make more room for the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley. Using a small spoon, fill the tomatoes with the breadcrumbs mixture. Drizzle with some olive oil, top with parmesan, and bake for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are softened and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
I’m going to make these often over the summer months, when fresh, local tomatoes are overflowing from crates at the grocery stores and farmers’ markets. They’d be great alongside a steak, burgers, grilled chicken, or even grilled pork chops. They add such a bright spot of color to a plate, and have such great flavor, too, that you may make them a staple on your kitchen table this year.
I’m meeting with the Freshologists again today to allow them to do some demos in the kitchen; can’t wait to share with you tomorrow the recipes I have in store for them today. Stay tuned!