July 30, 2013

Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

I’m continuing the goat cheese theme, this week.  That’s because I just can’t get enough of the creaminess and deliciousness of my favorite cheese, and I also figured that I should probably embrace tomatoes, the season’s most valued ingredient.  Truth be told, I simply can’t ignore an obvious thing these days – tomatoes are overflowing!  And now they’re in my kitchen, too!   



Tomatoes play an important role in Romanian cuisine, but merely as supporting actors.  They often constitute the cozy, saucy, piping hot pool for stuffed cabbage, pork goulash and stuffed peppers stew, or are found amid many other chopped ingredients in rich sour soups.  But, on occasion, we love to thoroughly stuff them!  Everything from bread to baba ganoush; rice, meat, mushrooms, meat and mushrooms, liver, pork scraps, fish, and of course cheese.  Anything known to man just shove it down inside the beautiful and mostly unmolested fresh tomatoes!  And just like that, tomatoes become the centerpiece! 





Although tomatoes are not my favorites among summer’s delights, they are simply splendid when partnered with smooth and tangy goat cheese speckled with delicate dill in this wonderful Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes recipe.  In Romania, cheese stuffed tomatoes are more often than not a quintessential component on cold appetizer platters next to a diverse array of cold cuts, meatballs, olives and cheeses.  But they could easily represent a dazzling and delightful appetizer all on their own, a light snack or a quick lunch.  
        




There’s no cooking or baking involved in this recipe, which makes it even more accessible, appealing, and perfect for the blazing hot season.  The tomatoes are firm and juicy, crisp and sweet, while the soft cheese filling is rich and packed with flavor and green freshness.  Suffice it to say – they are beautiful and very, very tasty!





Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes
By Simply Romanesco inspired by my Grandma Vicki

Makes: 8 stuffed tomatoes

Ingredients:

·         8 medium, ripe but still firm tomatoes 
·         12 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature 
·         6 ounces sour cream 
·         2 Tablespoons mayonnaise 
·         1 small yellow onion, finely chopped 
·         ¼ cup dill, chopped 
·         ½ teaspoon salt 
·         Optional: a few leaves of parsley
 




Instructions:

Using a small sharp knife, cut off the top (where the stem used to be) of each tomato.  Using a small spoon, gently scrape out the pulp and seeds and discard them.  Place the tomatoes, cut side down, on a paper towel to allow the extra juices to drain out, about 10 minutes.



In the meantime, combine the goat cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, onion, dill and salt in a large bowl.  Mix together well until it becomes smooth and creamy.  Adjust the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.




Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on a platter.  (If they tend to fall over, cut a tiny sliver off the bottom to allow them to stay still.)  Spoon 1-2 Tablespoons of the cheese mixture inside each tomato; I used a dessert decorator with the star tip for an extra decorative touch.  Decorate them with parsley leaves on top.  




Note:  If you have a bit of cheese mixture leftover, don’t throw it away; it’s simply superb smeared on a slice of crusty bread!          




Poftă Bună! (Bon Appétit!)

29 comments:

  1. These look delightful! Easy to eat and so pretty! Long live goat cheese!

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    1. Thanks so much, Maria! I agree – long live goat cheese! :)

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  2. Those may be the most gorgeous fresh tomatoes I've ever laid eyes on! I love that you have this knack for reading my mind (and seeing into our fridge) and giving me ways to use up ingredients, like goat cheese. Yum! Thanks!

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    1. Thank you Katy! I'm so happy I've given you good ideas on what to make with goat cheese! I think you'll love these stuffed tomatoes :)

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  3. These look gorgeous and so fresh! I love goat cheese, so this is giving me a major craving!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kayle! I love goat cheese, too and it works wonderfully with tomatoes :)

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  4. These are so adorable, and great as a summer appetizer! I look forward to trying these! :)

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    1. Thank you so much! These stuffed tomatoes are amazing as a summer appetizer! You'll love them :)

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  5. Hi Dana! I can't wait to try this new recipe inspired by your Grandma :) The goat cheese stuffed tomatoes look divine! Laura

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  6. So great meeting you guys tonight at Braddock's! Also, loving the goat cheese features on your blog. I'm growing tomatoes (hopefully successfully!) for the first time this year, so I will definitely keep this recipe in mind.

    Didn't realize you had spent time in Los Angeles and Boston - I've lived in both of those cities as well, but found myself back in Pittsburgh each time :)

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    1. It was so nice meeting you guys, too! It was a great event with some amazing food! Restaurant Week was a success all around :)

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  7. What a cute and tasty appetiser!

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  8. I can't wait until it is tomato season! We're in the last month of winter and this looks so mouth wateringly welcome! :D

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    1. Thank you so much, Lorraine! I think you'll love this recipe once tomato season starts in Australia :)

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  9. Stunning presentation! This is an appetizer my mom shared with me a few years back...but I never wrote it down. So yummy...can't wait to make it again (or at least your version :)).

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    1. Thanks so much, Liz! It's funny how the best recipes are usually the family ones. This is my grandma's recipe and I absolutely love it! :)

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  10. I love tomatoes and this was the perfect appetizer for my extended family reunion, this weekend! Everyone loved my appetizer :) Thank you, Dana! Laura

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    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I'm so happy to hear that you chose to make my recipe for the family reunion! I feel so honored and excited that everyone loved it :)

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  11. Hi Dana,

    Everything look so perfect in your stuffed tomatoes. The tomatoes look so flawless and the goat cheese stuffing look so creamy and nice. Lovely!

    Zoe

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    1. Thanks so much, Zoe! You're so sweet! These stuffed tomatoes are indeed lovely :)

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  12. These are very pretty and you've done such a good job of scooping out the tomato innards then swirling in the filling. These would be a wonderful summer's appetiser xx

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    1. Thanks, Charlie! They're great as a summer appetizer :)

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  13. These are so wonderfully pretty Dana! They are the perfect summer appetizer!

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    1. Thanks, Jenn! Indeed they are – the perfect summer appetizer :)

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  14. Beautiful and delicious, I would love to take a bite of this from my screen!

    Cheers
    CCU

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  15. That goat cheese filling is awesome, and not just with tomatoes! I can't get enough of soft goat cheese, my favorite. Tuna and rice stuffed tomatoes were such a common food years ago here, I had almost forgotten about them.

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    1. Wow! Thanks so much, Paula! I didn't know that tuna and rice stuffed tomatoes were so popular; in Romania, we also love to stuff tomatoes with pretty much everything eatable – fish, rice, etc. :)

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