Sicilian stuffed tomatoes / Pomodori ripieni siciliani
Antipasti are Italian for appetizers: a savoury beginning to the meal. Many antipasti can also do service as a light secondo piatto or second course. A staple of summer picnics and tavole calde, baked tomatoes, onion and herbs, make for a simple and relatively quick weekend dinner, part of a buffet or a tasty antipasto for a summer dinner for guests. The ingredients are packed with vitamins and give a great combination of flavour and a healthy part of a meal.
- Ingredients: Makes 8
- 8 large, ripe tomatoes
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 white or yellow onions, very finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
- 115 g fresh breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp black and green olives, stoned and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley; stems removed
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 115 g freshly grated vegetarian cheese of your choice
- Cut a thin slice off the stem side top of the tomatoes. Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard, taking care not to pierce the shells. Turn the tomato shells upside down on the kitchen paper to drain.
- Next, heat up 90 ml of the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onions and the garlic, add a little salt and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes, stir often. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, olives and herbs, return to the hob and warm through on a low heat stirring frequently for 2 minutes.
- Using a spoon, fill the tomato shells with the breadcrumb mixture and firm with a finger. Coat an ovenproof dish, large enough to hold them in a single layer, with olive oil and pre-warm it in the oven.
- Place the tomatoes in the pre-warmed dish and sprinkle the tops with grated cheese, drizzle with the remaining extra virgin olive oil and bake them for about 20-30 minutes on 180°C (350°F), 160°C Fan, Gas 4. As soon as they look tender and the topping is golden brown, they are ready!
- Remove the dish from the oven and serve immediately if serving hot or allow to cool to room temperature before serving.