Stuffed vegetables are a common side dish in Italian-American families: peppers stuffed with sausage, tomatoes stuffed with rice... And while I'm a huge fan of most things prepared by my own Italian-American family, these stuffed vegetables never did it for me. I always found them dry, bland or both. Luckily, this is not the case with this delicious vegetarian stuffed tomato recipe. Goat cheese and caramelized onions add flavor, while egg ensures that the texture is soft and moist. Breadcrumbs and parmesan sprinkled over the top, add just the right amount of crispy crunch. Serve three of these with a side salad, and dinner will be unforgettable!
Vegetarian Stuffed Tomatoes
12 round tomatoes
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 large onions
1 cup white wine
12 ounces soft goat's cheese
10 fresh basil leaves, chiffonnade
fresh black pepper
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
~ 1 tsp. olive oil (use organic olive oil from a vaporizing spray bottle, if possible)
At least three hours ahead of time, slice the tops of the tomatoes, removing about 1/4 from the top of each tomato. (These tomato scraps can be saved and used in a salad.) Scoop out the seeds and membranes.
Line trays with paper towel. Salt the inside of each tomato with a hefty pinch of salt. Place them upside down on the paper towel to drain for at least three hours and up to 6 hours. This tomato tip can be helpful with any stuffed tomato recipe, to keep them from collapsing or becoming too mushy or wet.
Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over low heat. Thinly slice the onions and add them to the pan along with the teaspoon of salt. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown and all moisture has evaporated from the pan. Deglaze the pan with some of the white wine. Continue cooking, deglazing with wine as needed, until the onions are caramelized. If the wine is finished, use water. After about 45 minutes, the onions should be deep, mahogany brown.
When the tomatoes have drained, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the goat's cheese until it is creamy. Add the eggs, one by one, whisking after each addition. Add the caramelized onions, basil and black pepper. Whisk to combine.
Line a baking dish with parchment paper and place the tomatoes on it. Fill each tomato with an equal amount of the filling. Combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top. Drizzle or spray olive oil over the tomatoes.
Bake the tomatoes for about 20 minutes, or until the filling is set and the breadcrumbs are golden. Serve warm.
If you're interested in other delicious remakes of classic stuffed vegetables, here are some of our favorite recipes:
- Organic baby peppers stuffed with fresh herbed goat cheese
- Nutty stuffed mushroom caps
- A new spin on skins with portabello mushrooms
- Shrimp chiles rellenos