Saturday, July 23, 2011

Recreating Meals ... and Memories

Seven years ago, when my husband and I married, we traveled to Aruba for our honeymoon. One night we ate dinner on the beach. It was a beautiful, five-course meal, and two elements in particular stood out in my mind: the red snapper, grilled to perfection, and the stuffed tomato.

That stuffed tomato was too wonderful never to have again. I simply had to find a recipe and make them again! Only, it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. There were many recipes out there, and I tried a few of them, but none of them were quite right. That is, until I found this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis. It has exactly the flavors I was looking for! They key ingredient? Provolone cheese! The sharp, tanginess of the cheese is the perfect contrast to those sweet tomatoes Jersey has to offer. They make a wonderful side dish, perfect alongside steak or london broil.

Herb Stuffed Tomatoes
Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis

  • 5 beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated provolone
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half horizontally. Use a small spoon -- a melon baller works great, too -- to gently hollow out the inside of the tomatoes, discarding seeds and reserving the pulp.
  3. Chop reserved pulp and put in a medium bowl. Add parsley, breadcrumbs, cheese, and pepper and gently mix to combine.
  4. Fill tomato halves with breadcrumb mixture and place in buttered casserole dish. Drizzle tops with olive oil.
  5. Bake until tips are browned, about 20 minutes.

And here is a picture of our table from that wonderful meal!

A picture of our table fromt that wonderful meal

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