Steady as we go.
That’s the mantra that’s been running through my head the last few days. Steady and go. Steady and keep on.
I mean… I’ve definitely also stress-cleaned my closet. I’ve definitely also reached for that third cup of coffee when I CERTAINLY know better. I’ve also lost my patience and cried in the car over a Kasey Musgraves song. NEVERTHELESS… steady as we go. Come back to center.
I’ve felt… well, at the end of things lately. The end of a season. The end of yoga school. The end of some relationships. And these times of transition call for more steadiness… because otherwise it’s just too many tortilla chips and wines.
I realized today that this tomato recipe I whipped up a few weeks ago speaks to that steadiness. It exists between seasons, too – using late summer tomatoes stuffed with cheese and herbs, wrapped and short roasted (I feel like I’m a week from only roasting everything). There’s a freshness and groundedness to the dinner that feels, well… steady. Steady and comforting and here we go.
You might know that I like to stuff a tomato. See also: Cajun Stuffed Tomatoes over Creamy Grits.
Here’s what you’ll need!
• Tomatoes – ripe but firm, round and fragrant. You’ll find some good ones.
• Ricotta cheese – we’ll herb it up with fresh basil and fresh oregano.
• Breadcrumbs – I like a the sort with the Italian seasoning for this recipe – adds an extra little kick.
• An egg to bind.
• A sheet of all-butter puff pastry. I love the brand Dufour because they’re pastry comes in a square sheet that been folded into quarters which is perfect for this recipe.
We’ll start by mixing together the simple ricotta filling.
It starts where you might expect – with ricotta in a bowl.
We’ll add shredded fresh basil along with coarsely chopped fresh oregano.
Add the breadcrumbs along with the whole egg.
Both will help bind the filling inside the tomato.
Salt and pepper – I think at least three big pinches of both are appropriate.
Stir the filling together to thoroughly combine the breadcrumbs and the egg.
Let’s holler at these tomatoes.
We’ll slice the top 1/2 inch off of each tomato.
With a small spoon, scoop out most of the tomato guts and core. We’ve got to make space for all of that ricotta goodness.
Spoon the ricotta into the tomatoes. Actually, stuff it in there. We want to fill each tomato to the top.
Set these gems aside and we’ll get to the puff pastry.
You can find puff pastry in the freezer section at the grocery store. I thaw my pastry in the refrigerator the night before I’m going to use it. Allow it to thaw (it’s essential, really) but stay chilled in the fridge. Cold puff pastry is easy puff pastry to work with.
On a lightly floured counter, roll the puff pastry, lightly really – we just want to extent it by about 3/4-inch on all sides.
Slice the puff pastry into four equal pieces.
Pop that tomato right into the center of one piece of puff pastry and brush all four edges with egg wash. That’ll be our glue.
Bring opposite corners together up and over the tomato.
Bring the opposite corners together too and pinch the four points together.
Pinch and press the seams together too, pressing out any air that’s between the tomato and the puff pastry.
Seal and press – that’s the task.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush all over with egg wash.
I added an extra pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. You could too!
These sweet baby dumplings bake for about 30 minutes – until the pastry is puffed and golden. If you lose a few of your seams to the pressure of the oven (aka they break open) – that’s totally fine! They’ll be just as delicious!
Look at this success! A tender tomato stuffed with herby cheese in a crisp butter case? I just tried to think of something better and…. well, pizza… but aside from pizza – there’s nothing – this is the best.
Steady. We’re in it.