Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Roasted Ricotta Romas

This first photo is misleading...the above are not roasted toms! Keep reading ;-)

I frequent the website Pioneer Woman. So much of the food she makes, make my mouth water – a lot…like, I become a droolin’ fool.

I’ve made a few of the recipes she’s posted on her site – Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies (her name not mine...and her pic, not mine, shown above). I sometimes follow the exact recipe and other times adapt them to what fits my family’s tastes a bit more.

Some things she makes I’ve known about for years like these French Breakfast Puffs (again, this pic is from her site). I grew up making these – they were one of the first ‘from scratch’ items I ever baked- and I made them way more often than I should've – very often with my best friend Lynette. The nutmeg in them is heaven (!).

Pioneer Woman is friends with Pastor Ryan – a young, hip, tattoo-adorned pastor who, like her, is a creative and awesome cook. A couple of weeks ago, I came across his Roasted Ricotta Roma Tomatoes and knew I had to make them! By this posting I’ve already made them four times – they are easy and delicious and my husband and daughter love them as much as I hoped they would.

These are my roasted romas…the pic doesn't do them justice -they got yummy and brown on too close? Too much light?


I add two extra ingredients that Pastor Ryan doesn’t, parmesan and a little grated mozzarella – because everything’s better with more cheese!

Follow this super simple recipe for a totally yummy (and impressive looking!) side dish that everyone will love!

Roasted Ricotta Roma Tomatoes

1 handful fresh parsley - chopped
1 handful fresh basil - chopped
2 -3 garlic cloves – crushed/minced
8 roma tomatoes – halved/gutted (see below)
1 ½ cups (approx) ricotta cheese
½ cup grated mozzerella cheese
¼ cup Panko bread crumbs or crushed Ritz
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Kosher salt
Salt-n-pepper to taste
Olive oil (I usually skip this ingred.)

Wash, dry and halve the romas. Use your fingers to extract the seeds and then use a small paring knife, spoon or strawberry huller to scrape out the ribs/membrane inside to leave a hollow ‘half-shell’. Sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes with the kosher salt, then place the halves upside down on a t-towel to drain (they won’t emit a lot of liquid, so don’t expect a watery mess or anything).

Add the chopped herbs, garlic, mozzarella cheese to the ricotta and mix well. Add salt-n-pepper to taste. Heap each roma half with the cheese mixture. Once all are filled, combine the pankos or crushed Ritz with the parmesan cheese in small bowl and dip the romas – cheese side down – into the crumb mixture. Place the romas – cheese side up – on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil if desired.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 20 minutes when the tops will be golden brown and bubbly. Serve while hot and most gooey and delicious!!

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