Stuffed Baked Tomatoes

2014-08-08 17.59.58My “neighbor who used to be mean but is now nice” has given me more tomatoes than Sam and I can possibly eat. So, I’ve been coming up with ways to use them. Today, I made stuffed baked tomatoes. I looked up recipes online, combined elements I liked from multiple recipes, added an idea or two of my own, and came up with what I think is a fabulous new dish. Sam, on the other hand, doesn’t care for it.

This time, I paid attention to how much of each ingredient I used so that I could pass the recipe on, if it turned out well. Here it is:

Ingredients:

4 medium tomatoes

4 slices bacon

1 T. olive oil

1/4 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup bell pepper, diced

2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs

salt and pepper to taste

Fresh Mozzarella, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 1.5 – 2 quart casserole dish.

Cook bacon, crumble and set aside. Heat olive oil in skillet (or you can omit the olive oil and use 1 T. of bacon grease). Add onions and peppers and saute until onions are translucent and peppers are soft.

While onions and peppers are cooking, prepare tomatoes. Slice off stem ends and scoop out pulp, leaving 1/2 inch wall. Dice pulp, discarding seeds and juice. Place 1/4 cup of pulp in mixing bowl and discard the rest. Add remaining ingredients, except Mozzarella, to the tomato pulp and mix. Place even portions of mixture into tomato shells.

Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top each tomato with a thin slice of fresh Mozzarella. Return to oven for 5 minutes, or until Mozzarella melts. This last step is optional. The tomatoes are almost as good without the Mozzarella.

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