Here is another creation inspired by the local Farmers Market. I can’t help but be excited when I see farm fresh field tomatoes. They are so flavourful and delicious. I really could eat them just like an apple, but I think that might get a bit messy 🙂
Jamie and I had purchased some beautiful looking tomatoes and we were looking for another way to use them. Then Jamie came up with the amazing idea of stuffing the tomatoes! I have never done that before. I have heard of stuffed peppers, but never a stuffed tomato. I wasn’t sure if the delicate flesh of the tomato would stand up to being hollowed out, stuffed and baked, but I was willing to try it out.
Obviously, I knew that I was going to have bacon in this tomato stuffing, but what else should I put in there? While I was peering into our fridge, inspiration struck me. I saw the brilliant green of a fresh head of broccoli and the snow white purity of a local cauliflower. I thought I could maybe use the basic recipe that I created for the Broccoli Cauliflower Bacon Cheese Balls and incorporate that into a tomato stuffing. Then I saw a container with thawed chopped spinach. Wait; was there a couple of jalapeños in the crisper? Yes, I could see this coming together perfectly.
We carefully hollowed out the tomatoes and set aside the pulp and seeds. We actually took the insides of the tomatoes and transformed them into a batch of Salsa Fresca. I am guessing you are beginning to understand just how much I love tomatoes 😉
You have to be very careful when hollowing your tomatoes that you don’t pierce the side.
We set to work making our filling. We sautéed some onions and garlic with butter. We then used our food processor to “rice” the broccoli and cauliflower. We cooked them in them in the microwave for eight minutes. To that we added the spinach and diced jalapeño peppers. Toss in some cheese, breadcrumbs, and bacon, the sautéed onions and garlic and Voilà, you have a delicious and fresh tomato stuffing!
We gently stuffed the tomatoes and put them in the oven for 45 minutes. I couldn’t wait for them to be done. I knew with all these ingredients that this creation was going to be amazing! The kitchen smelled as if vegetable lasagna was being cooked in the oven.
Finally the ding from the oven let us know that our dinner was done.
I have to warn you, these are super hot when they come out of the oven, but totally worth the wait. While we were enjoying them we thought how great they would be for a brunch gathering.
- 3 large, ripe field tomatoes
- 6 slices bacon, diced and cooked crispy
- 1/2 large onion, dices
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1/2 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed & blotted
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- pinch red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Wash and slice the top off each tomato. Using a spoon, very carefully scoop out the tomato pulp. Don’t break the tomato walls! Set the pulp and seeds aside to make Salsa Fresca.
- In a small skillet, melt the butter and saute the onion and garlic. Set aside.
- Take florets from broccoli and cauliflower and place in food processor. Pulse until it looks like grain. Place pulsed broccoli and cauliflower in glass bowl and microwave for 8 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix the cooked broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, jalapeño peppers and bacon.
- Once combined, add in breadcrumbs, Parmesan and shredded cheese. Mix well.
- Add in the onion and garlic mixture and mix till combined.
- Add in eggs, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Carefully stuff into tomato cavities. Place tomatoes in a baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool for a few minutes and serve hot.
- Dinner is served!