How to get rid of a large number of tomatoes in one recipe: stuff them! I have long wanted to try stuffed tomatoes but after my less than stellar results with stuffed peppers I was nervous about trying an even harder shape. So I decided to “cheat” and use my muffin tin in order to insure that the tomatoes would at least survive the cooking phase. For the stuffing I decided to use some red lentils and keep the seasonings nice and simple. I used the remaining “stuffing” to cushion the tomatoes, and to act as a backup in case the tomatoes didn’t make it from the pan to the plate. Once I saw that tomato on the plate, sitting stuffed and gorgeous on top of a bed of deliciousness, I knew that I had finally conquered the stuffed tomato.
4 large fresh tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
5 basil leaves, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup lentils, well rinsed
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and basil and cook for 5-7minutes. The garlic should just be starting to brown. Add the vegetable stock and the lentil and bring to a quick boil. Cover and turn to low, cook for 20minutes.
- Meanwhile hollow out the tomatoes by cutting a circle around the stem, and then scooping out the insides using a small spoon. Be careful to not tear or crack the skin of the tomatoes. Save the seeds for future plants, if interested, or add to the lentil mixture.
- Preheat oven to broil. Lightly grease the bottom of a medium or large cupcake pan. Place the hollow tomatoes in the cupcake spots and gently add the lentil mixture. Top with the cheese and cook under the broiler for 5minutes. The tomato skin should be slightly wrinkled and the cheese brown and bubbling. Serve over the remaining lentils!
This dish also came together in record time, with the only real drawback being how hot the broiler makes the kitchen. I might try using my toaster oven next time, along with single silicone cupcake holders. However I’m not sure if those are meant to take such a high heat, but if anyone knows one way or the other please let me know!