Late–season tomatoes are perfect for baking. They’re firm and sturdy, but more important, baking brings out the flavor that hasn’t fully matured because the sunshine has diminished in the last month. If you don’t like blue cheese, substitute any creamy soft cheese, such as St. Honoré or explorateur. Be sure to squeeze spinach as dry as possible to avoid a soggy filling.
Meal Plan: Prepare four servings of quick–cooking brown rice. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with some chopped toasted walnuts, plenty of chopped fresh flat–leaf parsley and a little olive oil.
- 10–oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove as much moisture as possible
- 1 cup small curd low–fat (2%) cottage cheese (8 oz.)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (white and light green parts)
- 1/4 cup soft blue cheese, crumbled (1 oz.)
- 14–oz. can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 large tomatoes
- 8 cups mixed salad greens
- 8 thin slices Italian bread, toasted, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring large pot of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix spinach, cottage cheese, scallions, blue cheese and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper until well blended. Gently stir in beans. Set aside.
- With small, sharp knife, score an “x” in base of each tomato. Carefully drop tomatoes into boiling water and cook 20 seconds. Remove from water with slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, peel tomatoes with small sharp knife and cut out cores. Cut each tomato in half through equator. With spoon, scoop out and discard seeds, then remove and discard about half of the flesh from each tomato half.
- Stuff tomato halves with spinach–cheese mixture, then place in shallow casserole just large enough to hold tomatoes. Bake until soft and beginning to exude juices, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, arrange salad greens in ring on each plate. Carefully transfer one tomato half to center of each ring. Serve with toasted bread slices.
- Serving Size: 4 servings
- Calories: 389
- Carbohydrate Content: 58 g
- Cholesterol Content: 11 mg
- Fat Content: 7 g
- Fiber Content: 13 g
- Protein Content: 25 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 3 g
- Sodium Content: 770 mg