Friday, September 22, 2017

Last Gasp of Tomatoes

Despite the lack of fashion pics last week, don't think you loyal Pattiwagoneers were forgotten. I have an end-of-season tomato recipe just for you. I’ve made this recipe twice now, slightly differently each time, and I think the variations are limitless.

I had three very large and very delicious looking tomatoes with no purpose after the possibility of a tomato pie went unfulfilled L. Like the tomato pie, this recipe is by-the-seat-of-my-pants (my favorite kind of recipe), and unlike the tomato pie, this recipe is healthy. (See Training, Marathon.) The tomatoes are the star of the dish, so it is probably best to save it for some super ripe, super fresh tomatoes, but I think you could do a mini version with the Campari vine-ripened tomatoes while you wait until next summer. Just bookmark this page 'til then. I’ll try to remind you.

Stuffed tomatoes, here we come: 

Slice the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the inside membranes, seeds, and flesh. Then, sprinkle some salt on the inside of the tomatoes and place them upside down on a paper towel. This will suck some of the moisture of out of the tomatoes so they don’t get too soggy.

While the tomatoes are hanging out upside down, cook about a half cup of quinoa in chicken broth according to the package instructions. While that is cooking, sauté a couple of chopped garlic cloves in olive oil and then wilt a few cups of fresh spinach. (Variation: use frozen spinach that has been thawed and thoroughly wrung out.)

Once the quinoa is done, mix in the spinach. Add in some mozzarella and parmesan cheese at this point. To give it some level of creaminess, add either a spoonful of sour cream or ricotta cheese. (I have made it both ways and liked both. In order to really judge the difference, I’d need to do a side-by-side taste test. And this blog is free. And Pattiwagon has been busy lately.)

Season that mixture with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice or rice vinegar. (It will need some acidic pep.)

Fill the tomatoes with the quinoa, spinach, and cheese and then top with panko bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!