Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes

Tomatoes au GratinGood morning everyone (well, at least it is still morning in this part of the world)! Β πŸ™‚

Usually I’m not that happy in the morning (quite the opposite!) but today is a special day.

For starters, school is finally over. It felt like it would never end this year with the extra days to make up for days lost due to hurricanes, snow storms, you name it. I felt like I was actually back in school myself! πŸ™‚

Secondly, I’m off to Italy today to catch up with family, true friends and β€œso-called friends” (those seem to populate every country, and mine is not an exception unfortunately πŸ˜‰ ) and to enjoy sun, beach, as well as Italy’s flavors and scents. I can’t wait to eat my favorite dishes!!! My mom’s refrigerator has my name written all over it. πŸ™‚

I hope to recharge my batteries after the longest winter I remember, to get inspired by the colors and spirit of my traditions and to get back with new ideas and dishes to share. After all, life is a never ending learning process… thank goodness!

I promise I’ll try to keep up with all your blogs and posts, dear readers, but I would like to ask you for some lenience in case I miss one of your posts or it takes me longer to comment: most of the places I am going to go to unfortunately have painfully slow connection speeds and in some cases even sporadic access.

But before leaving, I thought I would share with you a dish that I grew up with when I was a kid and that is fairly common in the Italian cuisine: stuffed tomatoes. It is a very simple dish, super light and easy to make and it’s the perfect appetizer for any summer meal or party.

Tomatoes au Gratin

6 plum tomatoes
2 white bread slices
3 oz, Jarlsberg cheese
10 to 15, basil leaves
1/2, garlic clover
8 Tbsp, extravirgin olive oil
ground black pepper


Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise, remove all the seeds, put some salt inside the halves, flip over the halves on a plate and let them stay for at least 1 hour so that the tomatoes lose their water.

Wash the basil leaves, let them dry and chop them.

Shred the cheese and chop the garlic very finely.

Put the bread slices in a blender or a food processor and process them until you obtain fine crumbs.

In a bowl, mix the bread crumbs, the chopped basil, the chopped garlic, the shredded cheese, and salt and pepper (to taste). Add 3 Tbsp of olive oil and toss to coat very well.

Preheat the oven at 325F. In a casserole, place 2 Tbsp of olive oil.

Fill the tomato halves with the crumb mixture and put the rest of the olive oil on top of each half. Place the tomatoes in the casserole and roast for about 20/25 minutes.


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0 thoughts on “Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes

  1. Fig & Quince

    Coming back to say I hope you’re having fun visiting with family and friends and even “so-called-friends” and please do eat a lot of good food and desserts and please do share some pix of the fabulous food I’m sure you are partaking of and specially, I’m so curious about all those different types of summer beverages (colorful ones) one sees in cafes in Italy and Europe. Not cocktails but apparently syrup-based types of beverages? We have something similar in Iran (fruit syrup based summer beverages called sharbat that I hope to write about soon) but I’ve always been curious about exactly what those drinks are. Anyhow, it’s not a homework assignment but if you are in the mood at some point down the line to post and share your thoughts about various non-alcoholic Italian beverages I think it would be rather fabulous.

    1. Francesca Post author

      Thank you so much, Azita. I feel you close very vividly!
      I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know much about non-alcoholic Italian beverages. Due to Stefano’s expertise, they are forbidden in my house! πŸ˜‰ I’ll try to “investigate” while I’m here and hopefully I will be able to share with you a few tips. Have a great weekend!

      1. Fig & Quince

        Gotcha! ; ) Well, I do enjoy a good glass wine when I taste one but I’m so not a connoisseur. Rather ignorant about the whole thing in fact. I should comb through Stefano’s columns and edumecate myself!

  2. Dina

    Lovely recipe for the summer, dear Francesca, wonderfully presented! Enjoy Italy and life, live and love and make sure sure you get your fair share of the glorious sun!

  3. Just Add Attitude

    Dear Francesca,

    It’s late evening here and I am wondering if you are, as I type, in a plane crossing time zones to Italy. I hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends and that some Italian sunshine goes some way to making up for a long cold and snowy winter. Enjoy your Mum’s fridge! And everything else about your holiday.

    Bon voyage. Take care.

    Love from B

    1. Francesca Post author

      Thank you, B., for your sweet wishes. Yes, I was in the plane contemplating my time here with a big smile on my face. πŸ˜‰
      I’m loading up my eyes with sunshine and colors to be ready to face another winter, although I have to admit I’m never ready to face winter. It’s just not my season. πŸ™‚

  4. ChgoJohn

    Sounds like you’re about to start a wonderful trip and visit, Francesca. Good for you!
    My family has a similar recipe for roasting tomatoes so I know how delicious yours must be. It is a highlight of summer to be able to use your own tomatoes to roast them like this.
    Buon viaggio!

  5. Fae's Twist & Tango

    – Bon Voyage Francseca! I’ll be patiently waiting for the inspirations you will share us from your visit.
    – Stuffed tomatoes, πŸ˜› a great summer dish… I am going to guest post on one of the Italian blogs while you are travelling there, which is a sibling dish to your stuffed tomatoes. πŸ˜€ )))
    Thinking of you! πŸ˜€ Fae.

  6. whiskeytangofoxtrot4

    Have a terrific vacation going back home Francesca. Eat, drink, be merry and have a safe trip.!
    Beautiful photos as well Stefano,you always make it look so delicious , like we could take a bite out of the screen and taste the dish. Take care you two. πŸ™‚