I find these ricotta stuffed tomatoes to be one of those dishes that I’m always thinking about but I never get to make it. The main reason might be because I don’t know exactly how to serve it… Let’s think about it for a minute: it can be a starter, but it depends on the main course as it may be too heavy to start a meal with; it can be a vegetarian main course, but let’s face it, we always want some kind of protein in our meals; or it can be a side dish, which again depends on the main ingredient, I would say it goes well with grilled meat. See what I mean? So ricotta stuffed tomatoes come to my mind very often but I always find it to be the wrong time. oh well, this time I managed to get it on the table as a starter (we were having Quiche for main).
The tomato is a wonderful food and it is thanks to the Spanish that it became such a worldwide favourite. Tomatoes are actually native to South America where it was used by the native population for centuries. When Columbus and the later conquistadors arrived to the continent, they decided to bring examples of the tomato plant back to Europe.
Tomatoes started to be cultivated in Europe in the 1540s and consumed regularly during the 17th century.
Today, the tomato can be found in almost every country and is still a staple food in the Mediterranean diet.
This recipe is extremely adaptable and you can stuff the tomatoes with whatever filling you like.
This dish can either be a starter, a vegetarian main course or a side dish for grilled meat...
- 4 tomatoes with the tops cut off
- 1 cup of ricotta cheese
- 2-3 tbsp parmesan cheese grated
- 10-15 fresh basil leaves chopped
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- Salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- Breadcrumbs as needed
Preheat the oven - 200C/400F
Cut the top off your tomatoes and scoop out the pulp and seeds with a spoon. Season each tomato cavity with salt nd then turn the tomato halves upside down on paper towels to drain out the moisture. It should take about 30 minutes.
Mix the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, fresh chopped basil, minced garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the filling and taste, re-season if needed.
Spoon the ricotta mixture into your tomato halves.
Spread the breadcrumbs over the tomatoes and drizzle with a little of olive oil.
Place then in an oven proof dish and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Let it rest a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Recipe inspired and adapted from Stacey Snacks Original recipe by Pastor Ryan featured on Pioneer Woman
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