Sometimes a perfectly prepared classic side dish, such as Stuffed Tomatoes or Honey Roasted Carrots, is all it takes to make a simple weeknight fish dinner seem special. Well, that and super fresh ingredients….
The recipe for stuffed tomatoes below is one I had made last week to accompany our grilled mahi mahi, which I topped with Joy’s Gourmet jarred “Artichoke Salad“. I served the dinner alongside a large green salad tossed in my new favorite real deal EVOO, “La Pietraia”, a single estate, mechanically-pressed Tuscan extra virgin olive oil made from hand-picked olives. I bought pretty much every single ingredient in the meal from the West Palm Beach Green Market, including the locally-caught and incredibly fresh fish.
It was such an easy and truly effortless dinner to put together, and yet my husband and son raved about it for days. The only thing about the meal that was out of the ordinary were the exceedingly fresh ingredients.
The Secret to Making Perfect Stuffed Tomatoes
Starting with fresh, firm, vine-ripened tomatoes is the biggest secret to a successful outcome with any stuffed tomato recipe. If you start with ultra-fresh tomatoes and you avoid overcooking them into mush, your stuffed tomatoes are pretty much guaranteed to turn out perfectly. You don’t need to fret or fuss about measuring ingredients or anything else.
Of course you will want to make sure the rest of the ingredients you use in your tomato recipe are also top-notch. And by the way, if you are puzzled by my reference to using “real deal” EVOO above, be sure to read more about the olive oil corruption that is sweeping the country. The corrupt olive oil industry is not just something foodies should be fretting about either. If you happen to follow Clean Cuisine because you have a health problem like I do, then you really need to be on top of the olive oil fraud situation. If you are following the anti-inflammatory program in our Clean Cuisine book, then you know cheap, processed oil is highly inflammatory. And yet, it is estimated that about 75% of olive oil labeled “extra virgin” that is currently imported from other countries is not really extra virgin. What is it instead? Cheap, pro-inflammatory vegetable oil.
But back to the stuffed tomatoes….
Remember, you just want to start with super fresh tomatoes and you don’t want to overcook them. That’s about all there is to know.
Recipe for Stuffed Tomatoes
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 13 minutes
- Total Time: 33 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- 6 ripe organic tomatoes (2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter)
- Unrefined sea salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 5 slices sprouted spelt bread (such as Berlin Natural Bakery,)
- 3 finely chopped scallions (white and green parts)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
- 6 tablespoons shredded organic (grass-fed mozzarella cheese)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the cores from the tomatoes, removing as little as possible. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and use your hands to remove the seeds and the juice. Pat the inside of the tomatoes with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Arrange the tomatoes on the baking sheet, cut side up, and season the insides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Place the bread slices in a food processor and pulse into bread crumbs. Transfer the bread crumbs to a medium-sized bowl and add the scallions, basil, garlic and oregano. Use your hands to gently toss the ingredients together. Drizzle with oil and mix once again.
- Use your hands to fill the tomato cavities with the bread crumb mixture. Bake the tomatoes for 10 minutes. Add the cheese and bake for another 2 or 3 minutes. Remove tomatoes from the oven and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
P.S. Looking for More Everyday Healthy Dinner Recipes?
If you liked the recipe for Stuffed Tomatoes, be sure to check out a full month’s menu of delicious healthy dinner recipes (including weekly shopping lists!) in our Clean Cuisine Dinners digital cookbook.