Food

Herb Stuffed Tomatoes

Herb Stuffed Tomatoes are the perfect way to enjoy some beautiful, fresh summer tomatoes. They make a great light lunch, side dish, or appetizer and look elegant with not a lot of effort. Plus, they are a great way to make use of stale bread.

For this recipe, try to find the freshest tomatoes possible. If you or a friend grows them, that’s great! This recipe really benefits from tomatoes that were picked when perfectly ripened. A farmer’s market or even a roadside veggie stand would also be great.

When buying tomatoes from the store, they were almost always picked when underripe to allow them to survive shipping and arrive on the shelves still looking fresh. I still like tomatoes even under these circumstances, but the texture and flavor is noticeably lacking compared to truly fresh and vine-ripened tomatoes. I’ve found looking for local varieties can help, even at a large grocery store.

The good news is: while your tomatoes should be as fresh as possible, your bread certainly doesn’t need to be! This is the perfect recipe to make with slightly stale bread. We get amazing sourdough loaves from a local bakery (shout-out to Easy Tiger) but sometimes have some leftover at the end of the week that is starting to get tough. This is the perfect time to make some breadcrumbs! Throw in whatever herbs you have growing in your garden or leftover from other recipes. It is best to have fresh herbs, though – dried won’t work nearly as well.

When you scoop the pulp out of your tomatoes, you can leave a lot of the core. Some stuffed tomato recipes have you remove this as well, but I’ve found it helps the tomato stay together and holds in all the delicious juice you don’t want to lose.

I like to make these tomatoes a little extra decadent with a drizzle of melted vegan butter over the stuffing. You can always use olive oil if you don’t have the butter, or leave it out for a lower fat option. But it helps the stuffing turn really golden-brown and kicks it up an extra notch on the comfort-food scale.

Storing:

I don’t recommend storing these stuffed tomatoes after making them , since you want your breadcrumbs crispy and your tomatoes fresh. However, you can absolutely save the breadcrumbs for a while if you want to get some prep done ahead of time! Just stick a bag of them in the freezer.

Herb Stuffed Tomatoes

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes large fresh tomatoes (I love using heirloom)
  • 6 slices stale sourdough bread
  • 1 cup fresh herbs (a mix of basil, oregano, and thyme works well)
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter (or more olive oil)
  • 1 tsbp nutritional yeast or parmesan alternative

Instructions
 

  • First, make the bread crumbs. Tear the sourdough into pieces and pulse in a food processor until broken up. Then add fresh herbs, garlic cloves, and 1 tbsp of olive oil the the food processor. Blend on high until the ingredients are minced and the crumbs small.
  • Cut both tomatoes in half (horizontally, so that the stem would be in the middle of one half). Using a spoon, scoop the pulp out of each tomato halves. You can save this pulp to add to any recipe that uses crushed tomatoes. Brush the inside and outside of each tomatoes halve with the remaining olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Fill each tomato half with breadcrumbs, pressing down to make room for as much as possible. When all halves are stuffed, melt 1 tbsp of vegan butter and use a spoon to drizzle over the top. (If you don't have the butter, you can leave this step out or replace with olive oil).
  • Bake at 400 for 15 minutes until stuffing is golden. If desired, sprinkle the top with nutritional yeast or a parmesan alternative. Then broil for about 1 minute until beautifully browned.