Thursday, May 28, 2009

I say toe-may-toe, you say toe-mah-toe...

If there is one thing I have learnt, it is that a dish is only as good as its ingredients. And an ingredient that really drives home this point? Tomatoes.

How many different ways are there to prepare tomatoes? Baked, pureed, mashed, stuffed. An integral part of world cuisine one way or the other.

My favorite though is to simply saute luscious cherry or pear tomatoes with good extra virgin olive oil, some sea salt, pepper and sliced garlic and garnish with basil. Fingerlicking, lipsmacking, LOLing kinda stuff that.

A close second to that is stuffed baked tomatoes. If you get less than spectacular beefsteak or roma tomatoes, baking them brings out the inherent sweetness and makes each bite unbelievably good. And with aromatics and fresh herbs, this is a winner every time.

Stuffed baked tomatoes

Beefsteak or large roma tomatoes- 3
Bread crumbs- 1 cup

Parmesan cheese -1/4 cup
Basil leaves shredded- 5
Coriander leaves or parsley - a bunch
white wine vinegar- 2 tblsp
salt, pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut the tomatoes in half. Scoop out the inside of the tomatoes using a spoon.

Spray the inside of a baking pan with oil or smear butter. Place the tomatoes scooped side up in the baking pan so they fit snugly.

Drizzle the inside of the tomatoes with white wine vinegar .
Mix the bread crumbs, basil, herbs, salt, pepper and cheese in a bowl. Scoop the mixture into the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 20 minutes till the top is crisp and golden.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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