Recipe: August: Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes

It’s time for another recipe! First, the recipe. Then, me blathering onward about my occasionally questionable culinary capabilities and the memories this particular feast holds for me. My recipe is similar to Taste of Home’s, where I stole the picture from!

  • The Ingredients
    • 4-6 Beefstake or other large tomatoes
    • 6 tablespoons butter
    • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
    • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
    • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
    • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
    • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (homemade version below)
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • The Way of Preparing
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F/ 175°C.
    2. Grease or parchment line a 13 by 9 inch baking dish . I use a glass one, personally.
    3. Slice a thin bit off the top off each washed tomato. Scoop out all the pulp, leaving a thick shell to hold the tomatoes together when stuffed.
    4. Sprinkle a little bit of the garlic salt into the scooped tomatoes to help them drain.
    5. Set your scooped tomatoes upside down on some paper towels or a clean kitchen towel to drain.
    6. Melt half the butter in a large skillet. Add the minced garlic, if using.
    7. Add the drained spinach and cook for 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the ricotta and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese.
    8. Mix together the breadcrumbs, remaining Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Set aside about a quarter cup for topping the stuffed tomatoes. Add the rest to the spinach mix.
    9. Add the mozzarella cheese to the spinach mix.
    10. Season the inside of the tomatoes with the remainder of the garlic salt and pepper.
    11. Stuff each tomato with the spinach mix and place in your greased or parchment lined 13 by 9 inch baking dish
    12. Melt remaining butter: toss with reserved seasoned breadcrumb-cheese mix and top each tomato with a hearty pinch.
    13. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  • Notes
    • Homemade Italian Seasoning is equal parts of the following:
      • red pepper flakes
      • dried Thyme
      • dried Savory
      • dried Basil
      • dried Oregano
      • dried Rosemary
      • dried Marjoram
      • dried Cilantro
      • dried Sage
    • Tweaks:
      • Sauté two packages of fresh spinach down until completely wilted; drain and use that.
      • Omit the breadcrumbs entirely and just use more Parmesan cheese
      • Sauté some finely diced onions and mushrooms and add it to the spinach mix.

Memories

I’ve only made this once, but it was delicious and I would absolutely love a repeat performance. I couldn’t finish a whole tomato, but it was fantastic. Cheap college meal when I didn’t know what else to make with what I had on hand. I haven’t made it since the summer of 2011, when I was living in my first apartment with the Crazy German and his girlfriend.

Some good times, there, and also where my Spicy Pumpkin and Pepper Soup came from.

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