Stuffed Tomatoes with Mushrooms, Parmesan and Spinach

A rich mushroom and spinach filling turns stuffed tomatoes into a real treat in Ed Baines's sophisticated recipe
By Ed Baines
Stuffed Tomatoes with Mushrooms, Parmesan and Spinach
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus cooling and chilling
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main

  • 8 large beefsteak tomatoes
  • 500 g fresh spinach
  • 15 g dried porcini
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 8 flat mushrooms, cut into small cubes
  • 55 g parmesan, freshly grated
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemons
  • 1 egg yolk
  • black pepper
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 100 g cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, drained

For the dressing:

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 leaves basil, finely shredded
  • black pepper

Method

1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the beef tomatoes and blanch them for 1 minute.

2. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of iced water, as this will make them easier to peel. Set aside.

3. Add the porcini mushrooms to the hot tomato water and set aside, allowing the mushrooms to soak.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the spinach. Add the remaining olive oil to a frying pan and heat through. Add the spinach and fry over a medium heat for two minutes, drain and set aside to cool. Once cooled, chop finely.

5. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, garlic and chilli. Fry gently until the onion has softened - around 3 minutes.

6. Use a slotted spoon to remove the porcini mushrooms from their hot water. Chop them and add to the onion mixture. Add the flat cap mushrooms and some of the porcini stock, and continue to fry.

7. Peel the blanched beef tomatoes. Slice a 'cap' off each tomato about a third of the way down. Reserve the caps to use as lids.

8. Using a teaspoon, carefully scoop out the tomato pulp from each tomato making 8 tomato 'shells' and reserving the pulp and juice for the dressing.

9. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

10. Transfer the onion and mushroom mixture from the frying pan into a mixing bowl. Add the chopped spinach, two-thirds of the Parmesan cheese, thyme, lemon juice, egg yolk, salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Mix in the drained cottage cheese and bind all the ingredients together to make the stuffing.

11. Using a teaspoon, stuff the tomatoes with the mixture, taking care not to press the mixture down as this will split the tomatoes. Generously fill each tomato shell so that the mixture bursts out over the tops.

12. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the tomatoes and place the tomato lids back on each tomato, tilted at a jaunty angle.

13. Place the stuffed tomatoes on a greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

14. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk together the reserved tomato pulp and juice with the olive oil, mustard, wine vinegar and basil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

15. Pour the dressing over the baked tomatoes and serve at once.

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