I had small Roma tomatoes ready for harvest, so I decided to see if I could do something different for an appetizer. After thinking about it, I decided to try making tomatoes that tasted like pizza. And, it worked!
These little tomatoes stuffed with pepperoni, fresh herbs and “6 Cheese Italian” with a little more pepperoni on top was a delicious surprise. They were easy to make too. You can serve them two ways. The first way is to serve as a first course on a small plate. MMM, wouldn’t these be good for a Tapas party? And, the second way is to smear a pizza tomato on a baguette slice. Speaking from experience, both are delicious.
I would like to tell you that this recipe serves 4 when you use 4 tomatoes cut in half, but as you know Roma tomatoes are small so you might want to double the recipe. I have to admit that while I was testing I ate 3. I know, I know but I couldn’t help it.
4 Roma tomatoes
Salt to taste
Finely chopped fresh garlic or garlic powder to taste (optional)
12 thin slices pepperoni, divided (I used pre-packaged sliced)
¾ cup “6 Cheese Italian” (I used Sargento Classic 6 Cheese Italian for testing purposes)
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh Greek oregano
Preheat oven to 400º F. Spray an ovenproof baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Cut tomatoes in half and level to stand upright by cutting a small slice from the bottom of each tomato half. Scoop out the seeds and the pulp. Lightly salt the inside of the tomatoes and add fresh garlic or garlic powder to taste (this is optional). Place the tomato halves in the ovenproof dish. Place a slice of pepperoni down into the center of the tomato. This will form a “cup” around the inside of the tomato.
Chop 4 slices of pepperoni and set aside.
Mix the cheese, basil, and oregano. Put one tablespoon cheese mixture into the pepperoni “cup.” When finished filling the tomatoes with cheese mixture, divide the chopped pepperoni between each tomato and place on top of the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until tops are bubbly and lightly brown. Serve immediately. Serve on small plates, or smear the cooked tomatoes on toasted baguette slices.
Every year, I challenge myself as a gardener to grow something I've never grown before and this year was no exception. As a professional garden writer, I was privileged to be given several exciting new varieties to trial. Additionally, in my travels this year, I had the chance to evaluate many more new plants in trial gardens across the country. The following new annuals, which will be new at retail in Spring 2017, received top ratings in my book.
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