Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cheese stuffed grape tomatoes

Every summer, my parents zealously plan and work on their vegetable garden. Last year, we got over zealous with our tomatoes and peppers so this year, we decided to scale down so we don't end up with rotten unpicked vegetables on the ground. There was some improvement, but we still ended up with LOADS of tomatoes. Fortunately, we discovered the sweetness of vine-ripened tomatoes and have since learned to snack on freshly-picked tomatoes. Beside that, I also got to experiment with different - and SIMPLE - ways to enjoy tomatoes. One of my favourite is stuffing them with cheese.

I simply cut the tops off the tomatoes and gauged them slightly to make room for the cheese stuffing. I then added about one table spoon of olive oil to my baking dish and tossed the tomatoes in it. I found this step to be helpful because I can see how much tomatoes I need to fit them all snugly in the dish*. I cut Monterey Jack cheese into small cubes - about 1/8" by 1/2", but it depends on the size of your tomatoes and how much cheese you want in each. The next step is simply to push each cheese cube into the tomatoes. Some of the seeds would overflow out of the tomatoes - let these fall back into the dish and they'll make for a richer tomato-flavoured sauce! Finally, season lightly with salt and pepper, sprinkle some chopped basil or cilantro overtop and bake for 15 minutes at 350F. 

I would suggest letting the tomatoes stand for a few minutes before serving because the hot cheese inside could be an unpleasant surprise. I know, the waiting can be hard but it's worth it. Enjoy!

*Filling the baking dish snugly with tomatoes helps keep them upright, thus keeping the cheese inside the tomatoes rather than spilling over and filling the dish.


Sarah @ Natures Nurture said...

Umm, so this is brilliant, Lin! I love grape tomatoes, and they're one of the few things that we always plant every single year. And I kinda have a slight obsession with cheese, So this is just a match made in heaven ;) Thanks for the idea!

Lin Abdul Rahman said...

(Y) Glad you like the recipe!