Stuffed Tomatoes

     My children all enjoy cooking, and I enjoy watching them have fun creating new recipes. Do you also see with your children more of a willingness to try new things when they have helped to prepare them?

     My son found a recipe on his sister's dsi game "America's Test Kitchen." He decided we should use some of the fresh tomatoes from our garden and make the suggested meal from the game. From someone else he gets his precision in following directions exactly. From working with me in the kitchen, he also learns adaptability.  I honestly laughed when he said we couldn't use cherry tomatoes because the dsi said so. Oh my, this was such fun. I plan to cook with him A LOT more often. The italicized instructions are from the actual recipe. The unitalicized words reflect our changes.


6 large firm ripe tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
3/4 oz. Parmesan cheese
3 slices high quality white sandwich bread
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 c. minced fresh basil (we had dried basil)

concentration as he shares with me the next step


Cut off the top 1/8 inch from the stem end of the tomato.
Moms of little boys, do this step for them if you don't think they will be safe with a knife for this. 
A good practice for cutting is having them slice bananas with a butter knife.

Using your fingers, remove and discard the core and seeds.
     Basically this recipe is directing you to throw away the best part of the tomato. We often peel tomatoes for my grandparents who don't like the skin, so throwing that away to me was an obvious waste. Instead we scooped it all in a skillet and I heated it with a few sprinkles of Mrs. Dash. Yummy! 

Sprinkle the inside of each cored tomato with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. 

Invert the tomatoes onto paper towels to drain for 30 minutes. We just inverted them on the cutting board. 

Mince garlic cloves. I don't have the recommended garlic press so simply scooped a bit of diced garlic from a jar.

Grate 1/3 cup parmesean cheese with rasp grater. Again, from a jar

Tear the pieces of bread into quarters. Pulse bread in the food processor to make coarse crumbs, about 6 pulses. 
     Yes, that is white bread on the counter behind him, but that was to be used for sandwiches to take to the creek the next day. We toasted two leftover hamburger buns and then pulsed them in the blender. It was simpler than toasting the crumbs.  

Preheat oven to 375degrees.

Spread the bread crumbs over baking sheet and bake until dry and lightly golden. We actually toasted the hamburger buns first, so they made dry crumbs as soon as we dumped them from the blender.

Toss together the dried breadcrumbs, Parmesan, 1/3 cup basil, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.

Pat the inside of each tomato dry with a paper towel.

Put the tomatoes cut side up in a 9x13 inch baking dish lined with foil. Apparently this recipe called for monster size tomatoes. Ours all fit in a bread pan, they fell over in a smaller pan.
Obviously, I skipped the wiping out with a paper towel step, too. 

Brush the cut edges of tomatoes with one more tablespoon of the oil.

Mound 1/4 cup of the breadcrumb mixture into each tomato and drizzle the remaining oil over the tops of the tomatoes. 
way, way, way more breadcrumbs than we needed...and there are even more now stored in the fridge

Bake until the tops are golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve while hot.

     Joseph's verdict as he sampled the first bite- an affirmative "umm." Will we make it again? Well, later he said he didn't like it as much as he expected so maybe not. The process was a lot of fun, though.

     Just in case you want have a Nintendo dsi in your house, this is my affiliate link to amazon for the "game" that led to all of this fun deliciousness. At the time of this post it is only $3.99!
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  1. Oh this is fabulous! thanks for linking with Kids in the Kitchen! we start a new linky tomorrow - if you don't have another post - you are welcome to link up this one!

  2. We are growing tomatoes in our garden too, and I think I'll try this recipe. Looks easy and with simple and mild flavors so my kids would be willing to try tomatoes a new way.

  3. The pictures really show his keen attention to those tomatoes. How cute he is in the kitchen and how lovely to see pictures of the tomatoes cooking and ready to be served. I really enjoy seeing the kids cooking.

  4. I love that your kids help out in the kitchen!


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