Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes
By Shannon O'Donnell
Once in awhile I make a dish that really WOWS me...one that exceeds my expectations and turns out to be so much tastier than I imagined. THIS was that dish for me this month. It is absolutely fantastic. Flavorful and fairly easy, it makes a beautiful presentation and would be perfect for company. I tore it out of the Williams Sonoma catalog many years ago...I'm so glad that I hung on to it and finally gave it a spin!
Preheat an oven to 375°F.
Using a paring knife, core the tomatoes, then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Season the insides of the tomatoes with salt and black pepper. Set the tomatoes, cut side down, on a plate and let stand while making the filling.
In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the sausage and red pepper flakes and cook, using a wooden spoon to break the sausage into small pieces, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage mixture to a bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
Add the oregano, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of the cheese and the parsley to the sausage mixture and stir to combine. Stuff the tomatoes with the filling, dividing evenly, and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, dividing evenly. Drizzle olive oil over the tops and sides of the tomatoes.
Bake until the tomatoes are tender and the filling is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Makes 6 to 12 stuffed tomatoes.
When she's not forecasting, Shannon O'Donnell enjoys putting together tasty, season-appropriate meals and goodies for her friends and family.