|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 7g||9%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||13%|
|Total Carbohydrate 2g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Tomatoes taste great on their own, but when they are hollowed out, filled with a cheesy stuffing, and baked, they then become something truly special. Late summer tomatoes are perfect for this recipe, but this technique is also a great way to use out of season tomatoes because the filling and baking will help give them a boost of flavor.
Technically, any size tomato that can be reasonably filled would work fine for this recipe. In fact, stuffing small cherry tomatoes, while arduous, would probably be lots of fun as a cocktail snack. But for this recipe, vine tomatoes are an ideal size.
Vine tomatoes, also known as cluster tomatoes, are grown in greenhouses and commonly found in supermarkets. They have a nice red color, their stems are intact and they tend to be uniform in size which makes them ideal for this recipe. Despite their name, they are not technically ripened on the vine but, rather picked when they start to change color. Nevertheless, they tend to have a good tomato aroma and are a great size for stuffing.
Tomatoes can be stuffed with meat like ground beef or lamb and seasoned rice for a heartier dish, but these cheesy tomatoes are an impressive side dish for any feast. The four cheeses used here—aged flavorful cheddar, nutty and creamy fontina, sharp salty Parmesan, and sweet melty mozzarella—all go perfectly together. Paired with breadcrumbs for a great crispy topping, these cheesy tomatoes are hard to resist. Serve with grilled steak, baked chicken, or broiled fish.
- 6 ripe on-the-vine tomatoes (able to sit upright)
- 2 tablespoons sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 2 tablespoons fontina cheese (shredded)
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (or Romano cheese, grated)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (seasoned)
- 2 tablespoons parsley (fresh, chopped)
- 2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese (shredded)
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.
Slice the top quarter off of each tomato. Then, using a spoon (a serrated grapefruit spoon would be ideal if you have one), hollow out the core and seeds, but be sure to leave thick enough walls so that the tomato will not collapse in the oven.
Combine the shredded fontina, cheddar, Parmesan or Romano, olive oil, seasoned panko breadcrumbs, and chopped parsley in a bowl. Stir until the olive oil coats all the other ingredients.
Fill each of the tomatoes with the mixture and top with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Place the filled tomatoes on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the mixture is a light golden brown.
Serve warm and enjoy!