Equally at home at a luncheon or as a side dish for steak or fish, these stuffed tomatoes add retro-cool and delicious flavor to any plate.
- 6 tomatoes, 2 3/4-3 inches in diameter
- 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 ounces pancetta, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped shallots
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil an 8-inch square-baking dish.
- Take a thin slice off the top of each tomato. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp and discard them. Sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and place them, them cut side down, on a rack; drain 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, spread the breadcrumbs on a large baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until toasted and golden, 7-8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium and add the pancetta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4 -5 minutes. Stir in the shallots and garlic; cook until slightly softened, 3 minutes. Combine with the breadcrumbs; stir in the cheese, oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and parsley. Spoon the mixture into the tomatoes, mounding slightly.. Place the tomatoes in the prepared baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake 15 minutes, uncover and continue to bake until the top is lightly browned, another 4-5 minutes.