Ricotta-Basil Stuffed Tomatoes

Since moving to Ohio from Michigan I have been busy with many things and seriously have not really cooked for friends like I used to. Last night, I had my first official dinner with friends. Getting to know people’s food tastes can become challenging and intimating sometimes. I was lucky because vegetarian food was the perfect food choice for my newly made friend. Tomatoes are in season right now and the fresh flavors really popped in this recipe I took from the current summer Vegetarian Times Special Farmer’s Market Cookbook magazine. I wish I thought of it – absolutely brilliant. I did not change anything in the recipe it was perfect.

Ricotta-Basil Stuffed Tomatoes
Created on 8/11/11

Click on the picture to see an enlarged photo

8 large beefsteak tomatoes
2 large eggs
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup chopped fresh basil (do not adjust this the flavor was perfect)
2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoon grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 cup fresh corn cut off the cob
1 cup diced zucchini plus 24 thin zucchini slices

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the tops off the tomatoes and scoop pulp out of centers so that the filling can be stuffed inside the tomato. Discard half of the tomato pulp or reserve for another use. Finely chop the balance of the tomato pulp. Whisk together eggs and ricotta in a bowl until smooth. Add onion, basil, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, garlic, corn, diced zucchini and chopped tomato pulp; stir until combined. Fill each tomato just to the top with ½ cup of ricotta mixture, then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of Parmesan cheese followed by 3 zucchini slices and cover with tomato top. Place in a baking dish. Bake 45 minutes or until filling is pulled up and tops are browned. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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Roasted Potato Salad

I was invited to a barbeque potluck recently and wanted to bring something that I would not have to worry about spoiling when sitting out in the warm weather for a long time. I visited the local farmer’s market in Worthington, OH and took advantage of their wonderful spring vegetable picks for my recipe. Fresh herbs, asparagus, baby red potatoes, spring green onions, and garlic were all a part of my creation for this dish. The results were amazing and there was just a little tiny serving left after the night was through. Enjoy!

Roasted Potato Salad created 06/11/11

5 lbs baby red potatoes, scrubbed well, cut into bite size cubes

2 bunches of spring green onions, chopped white and green parts both

1 lb of asparagus, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces

4 corn on the cobs, remove corn from cob with sharp knife

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cleaned and halved

2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, parsley

8 cloves of garlic peeled and minced

Olive Oil

Salt / Pepper

In a large bowl, combine green onions and potatoes with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, coat well and spread single layer on a cookie sheet or stone. Put in oven @ 425 degrees for about 20 minutes until vegetables are soft and golden color.

Put cut asparagus in a bowl and coat with approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Put asparagus single layer on a cookie sheet or stone and place in oven for about 15 min or less.

Put the cut corn in a sauté pan with about ½ tablespoon of olive oil, halved tomatoes and minced garlic, season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes or until tomatoes shrivel a little. Remove from heat and put in a large serving bowl and top with fresh chopped basil and parsley.

Put roasted red potatoes and asparagus in bowl and toss well.

It is possible you may have to add another tablespoon of olive oil (optional).

Season dish with salt and pepper as needed.

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