Thursday, February 16, 2012

What you should do with winter tomatoes

I know.  Eventually I'll get over this tomato obsession.  I always do.  Just don't expect it to happen anytime soon.  Instead I'll find ways to make them work and make me happy.

Joanne suggested roasting the tomatoes - I haven't tried that, but it's only February.  So what do you do with firm tomatoes with no flavor?  You stuff them!  That unripe exterior perfectly holds the filling, which is so full of flavor you won't even notice that the tomato is missing it.  It becomes a blank, flavorless canvas on which to paint.

And like any good artist, I paint with lots of colors.  Which is also another excuse to use spinach - you know I love that stuff, and unlike tomatoes, spinach is delicious in the winter.

Stuffed Tomatoes
2 large tomatoes
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp chopped basil
1 Tbsp chopped onion
1/8 cup sliced water chestnuts
3/4 Tbsp olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400.  Coat a baking pan with just enough oil so the tomatoes won't stick.  Cut a slice from the top of each tomato and scoop out the pulp- making sure to leave enough of shell so the tomatoes don't fall apart.
  2. Sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes with salt, invert them and let them drain for 15 minutes.
  3. Squeeze the juice out of the pulp and chop it finely. 
  4. Combine the pulp with breadcrumbs, basil, onion, spinach,and water chestnuts.
  5. Add the oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Fill the tomatoes, place in baking pan and bake for 20 minutes.


  1. Stuffing those tasteless winter tennis balls with a tasty treat would work wonders for the winter tomato.

  2. I agree with bellini! The tomato is my very favourite food of all foods when in season - we don't even buy them out of season. I oven roast all of mine at the end of the year and preserve them. They are incredibly delicious that way. I also made an excellent green tomato ketchup and green tomato chow this year from the green ones unripened at the end of our short growing season.
    Stuffing is a good solution - but not buying them is even better!
    Your recipe looks excellent - in all ways. YUM!

  3. Haha I approve of stuffing as well. Especially since I have spinach in the fridge. Perfect timing.

  4. I love stuffed tomatoes. I like the way you describe this as a blank canvass. That is what it is, only in the winter, when tomatoes are tasteless. They do make a salad look pretty.

  5. This is exactly the type of meal I should be eating for lunch. YUM!