Maybe it's an issue of wanting what I can't have. It could be that I'm working on a retail schedule here in my kitchen. I'm a veritable Fashion Week over here: always working a season ahead. I am the one making soups with kale and sausage when its 90 degrees outside. By the time a food season comes around, I'm over it and on to the next thing. I wonder why?
Whatever the reason, I have been on a serious spring and summer flavor kick. I'm thrilled with my lighter eating that I've been doing this year...and with that naturally comes some of the craving for brighter, more flavorful foods. Almost everything I've wanted to cook has plenty of produce in it...and most of it is not "seasonally correct".
Tomatoes are the big one for me. I could eat them every day. This time of year, tomatoes are usually pretty dismal. I have been able to find some on-the-vine versions that have pretty good tomato taste, all things considered. I came across this recipe in a cheap little cookbook that I found at TJ Maxx...and this recipe was the sole reason I purchased it (I've come to find other great recipes in it since then). The combination of goat cheese and tomatoes is a favorite of mine and the souffle action inside intrigued me.
This recipe is as delicious as it looks. It would be a great main dish for vegetarians or any lighter meal, accompanied by some couscous and crisp greens. The goat cheese mixture is light and fluffy. It's easily adaptable to any fresh herbs you have on hand. One side note though: I went a little egg crazy with mixture so it took longer for the filling to set. A lot longer. 20 minutes longer. So...don't just assume that 10 minutes is gonna cut it. Check on them and be prepared to extend the time a bit.
Tomatoes with Goat Cheese - serves 6 - originally published in Just 4 Things by Parragon Books
- 12 tomatoes
- 6 round goat cheeses, about 1 1/2 oz. each
- 3 fresh basil springs, chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Slice the tops of the tomatoes at the stem end and set aside. Scoop out the flesh and seeds with a teaspoon, taking care not to pierce the tomato shells. Discard the tomato seeds and put the flesh into a bowl. Sprinkle the inside of each tomato shell with a pinch of salt, turn upside down on paper towels, and drain for 45 minutes.
- Add the cheese and the basil to the tomato flesh in the bowl and mash well until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper and beat in the egg until the mixture is thick and sticky.
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Spoon the cheese mixture into the tomato shells and replace the lids. Put the tomatoes in an oven-proof dish that will hold them securely and bake for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven but do not remove the tomatoes for 5 minutes then serve.