Mozzarella and Basil Stuffed Tomatoes, Recipe of the Month, August 2021

Being smack dab in tomato season, found and liked this recipe from Simplyrecipes.com website...it is very good!

Mozzarella and Basil Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 medium tomatoes with firm, fleshy walls, 2 1/2 inches wide
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 slice of bread (enough to make 1/4 cup breadcrumbs or I just used 1/4 c. season bread crumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon melted salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Make the soft breadcrumbs:  To make the 1/4 cup soft breadcrumbs, remove the crust from 1 slice of bread (preferably stale) and either pulse in a small food processor or shred with a fork until the bread resembles fine, sand-like crumbs. (Again, I just used 1/4 c. seasoned bread crumbs and it worked great.)
  3. Prepare the tomatoes:  Slice the tomatoes in half horizontally around the equator and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Be careful not to puncture the walls of the tomato, but if you do, the filling will plug the hole. Place empty tomato halves in a casserole dish or oven-safe skillet, and season with salt and pepper.

    Using your hands or a spoon, separate the seeds from the scooped out tomato flesh and transfer the flesh to a cutting board. Discard the seeds and the tomato water. Chop the flesh and set aside for the stuffing.

  4. Make the stuffing:  In a medium bowl, add the chopped tomato flesh, mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, basil, breadcrumbs, butter, garlic, salt, and pepper and stir to thoroughly combine.
  5. Bake:  Using two spoons, fill the tomato halves with the stuffing. Sprinkle filled tomatoes with the remaining parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, or until tomatoes are tender, then broil on high for 1 minute until the filling begins to bubble and brown.
  6. Serve:  Garnish with a few torn basil leaves and serve hot.