I love retro foods. Stuffed tomatoes came to mind the other day, and I had to make some. I used a bread crumb, parmesan cheese, basil stuffing with onions and mushrooms that went well with the tomatoes.
This is a simple recipe that looks good on the plate. I think kids would even enjoy it since it can be a meal by itself. You may want to mince the mushrooms first since that could be a deal breaker for many little eaters.
This recipe makes two medium stuffed tomatoes, so double or triple as needed to make 4 or 6 stuffed tomatoes. To make two, you will need:
1 cup fresh, sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup medium sized diced mild onion
One medium/large tomato per person.
One slice of bread. I used whole wheat.
1 oz. Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
1 tsp. dried basil or 1/2 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and diced onion. Stir to coat the vegetables in oil. Cook until done, about 8 minutes. Stir frequently. Add more olive oil if needed. Remove from heat when onions are transparent and mushrooms are soft and darkened. Sit aside.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade or in a Vitamix, process the bread until it is just small particles. Empty the crumbs into a medium sized mixing bowl . Then process the cheese in the same manner. Add to the mixing bowl.
Add the onion, mushrooms, and about 1-2 teaspoons of the oil that they were cooked in. If there is not enough oil, add a it more to the mix. Add the basil, salt and pepper.
Wash the tomatoes and pat dry. Cut a thin slice off the top of the tomato. With a knife, cut along the inside of the outer flesh making sure not to pierce the outside. With a teaspoon, gently remove the inside liquids and seeds. Save the insides for a salad, salad dressing, soup or discard. The inside of the tomato does not have to be totally free of liquid or membrane (or even seeds).
Stuff the tomato with the bread mixture. I put a slice of mushroom on top, just to look nice.
Place the stuffed tomatoes on a sheet pan lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray or sprinkled with olive oil. Bake in the middle of the oven until the tomatoes are cooked, about 15 minutes.
The skins will have split and started to pull away. I remove any skins that can be reached. Gently, place a tomato on each dinner plate.
I had planned to add some asparagus spears in an X pattern coming from the top of the tomatoes, but I forgot to do so. Not only would it have looked nice, but then the stuffed tomatoes would have been full of veggies!
These stuffed tomatoes can be served warm or at room temperature. They travel well and make a great treat for a picnic since there is nothing in them that spoils quickly.
If you have large tomatoes and want to make this a meal, add some cooked bulk sausage, cubed ham, cooked hamburger or cooked turkey to the stuffing.
Bonus Information: When purchasing tomatoes from the store, always smell them. If they smell like a tomato, then they will probably taste like a tomato. If they have no smell, then they probably have no taste!