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Summer in Tuscany is a wonderful time: hot temperatures during the day mitigated by wonderful breezes in the evening, the happy chorus of the cicadas, juicy fruits hanging on the trees and of course fresh and red ripe tomatoes! They have a fresh and intense, sweet-salty flavor and they are ready to be stuffed! That’s my recipe for you today!
5 tomatoes ripe but still firm for stuffing
300gr / 1 ½ cup plain bread crumbs or stale bread crumbled in a blender
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 handfulls basil leaves
60gr / ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 spoonful capers preserved in salt, washed and rinsed
120gr / 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 180° C/350° F. Cut tomatoes in two halves diameter-wise. With a small spoon scoop them out leaving the ‘frame’. Put the liquid and the core in a bowl. Sprinkle salt on the tomato frames. Put the inside of the tomatoes (seeds, etc.) that you have just scooped out in food processor with garlic, basil, capers, cheese, 3 pours of olive oil, 2 pinches of salt and pepper. You can add in the stuffing capers, anchovies, cheese, tuna fish, etc., basically whatever you like! Mix in food processor and put in bowl.
Put bread crumbs in bowl with mixture and mix until thick. If it’s too loose you can add more bread crumbs, this depends on the quantity of liquid of the tomatoes. Using a small spoon put the mixture in the tomatoes frames and push gently the stuffing with your finger to compact it. Take a baking pan, sprinkle some olive oil, place the tomatoes and drizzle olive oil on top. Bake at 350° F for approx. 30 minutes until the tops are brown and the tomatoes are soft. Serve at room temperature.