Stuffed tomatoes are a delicious choice for a quick supper or even a mid-day luncheon. Hull the tomatoes as gently as possible. If you break the skin, they will over-soften while baking and could fall apart. Stir in browned ground beef, sausage, or shredded rotisserie chicken for extra heartiness. In order to quickly make this recipe, we suggest using store-bought pesto. If you happen to have a surplus of basil in your herb garden, however, try this easy recipe for homemade basil pesto. Serve these tasty stuffed tomatoes alongside a salad or steamed green beans for a light vegetarian dinner. Or try them as a side dish with grilled seafood, steak, or chicken. They also make a great potluck dish for summer cookouts.
8 (6-oz.) tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onion
5 ounces baby spinach
1 (8.8-oz.) pouch microwavable long-grain white rice (such as Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup refrigerated pesto (such as Buitoni), divided
1 1/2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, shaved (about 3/4 cup)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°F, with oven rack 6 to 9 inches from top. Cut about 1/2 inch off tops of tomatoes; discard tops. Cut a small (1/8-inch) slice off bottoms of tomatoes so they will sit flat in baking dish. Carefully scoop out tomato pulp, using a serrated tomato corer or melon baller, leaving a 1/2-inch shell intact. Sprinkle shells with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Place pulp in a wire-mesh strainer over a bowl; press to remove 1/3 cup tomato juice. Reserve juice; discard pulp.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 4 minutes. Add spinach to skillet; cover and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add rice and reserved 1/3 cup tomato juice to skillet; cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in basil, 1/3 cup of the pesto, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Divide mixture evenly among tomato shells. Place shells in an 11- x 7-inch baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven until tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Top with cheese and remaining pesto.