Tomatoes make a great edible vessel for a variety of fillings. For tonight's dinner, I propose a rich and indulgent stuffing in the form of creamy spinach, cheese, and ham. When baked in the oven, the tomatoes explode with juiciness, and the inside oozes into a wonderful taste sensation. Salute the weekend with crusty French bread for dipping and a glass of sparkling wine. To make this delicious dish tonight all you need is the recipe — and the groceries of course! — so
4 large ripe tomatoes (about 10 ounces each)
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 ounces thickly sliced deli-baked ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Cut each tomato horizontally in half. With spoon, scoop out about 2 tablespoons pulp from each half. Coarsely chop tomato pulp and place in bottom of 13- by 9-inch ceramic or glass baking dish.
- In medium bowl, mix spinach, ham, ricotta, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper.
- Mound scant 1/2 cup spinach mixture into each tomato half; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
- Arrange tomatoes on pulp in baking dish. Bake tomatoes 25 minutes or until hot. Serve stuffed tomatoes with chopped tomatoes from baking dish. Garnish with parsley sprigs if you like.