Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Baked Tomatoes

Depending on where you live you may be able to get good tomatoes already. For us here in the northern part of England, tomatoes are filling the market shelves, but alas, they have little flavor and less aroma. I thought of filling the big, beautiful tomatoes with spinach, bacon and Parmesan (among other things) and baking them. If you use very large tomatoes they can be the main part of the meal, if using smaller ones they would be a nice accompaniment to grilled chicken, fish or beef. Omit the bacon to make these vegetarian.

2 very large, ripe tomatoes or 4 medium or 6 small—scooped out, seeds discarded and pulp chopped
4-5 rashers (pieces) smoked streaky bacon (regular bacon to my American friends) - optional
½ cup frozen and thawed chopped spinach, squeezed of water
1 green (spring) onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped or pressed
1 tablespoon Marscapone cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup good quality croutons that have been crushed up just a bit
1 medium egg white, whisked lightly
Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon more grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon (heaping) good quality pulverized croutons or toasted  breadcrumbs
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

1) Preheat the oven to 175C (350F). Fry the bacon until just crisp them crumble. Mix the chopped tomato, bacon, spinach, green onion, garlic, Marscapone, Parmesan and crushed croutons. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Now mix in the egg white.

2) In a separate bowl, toss together the remaining Parmesan and pulverized croutons or breadcrumbs. Divide the spinach stuffing equally and stuff into the tomatoes. Sprinkle the breadcrumb/Parm mixture over top and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Bake until toasted and gooey—about 30 minutes, or less depending upon the size of the tomatoes.

Sometimes tomatoes collapse while baking (as was the case in the tomatoes pictured here). They still taste excellent, but if you are concerned about appearance, try using tomatoes that will fit snugly into a muffin tin, oil it and bake to support the stuffed tomato.


Lily said...

This looks delicious. Maybe my father will make it for me, or you'll have to come visit us and cook me up a feast.

JennyB said...

WHAT? You can do it!!