The Salty Dog's Blog
Stuffed Tomatoes Agrodolce
Agrodolce, sweet and sour, is a classic Italian blend of opposite flavors, sugar and vinegar, used for meats and vegetables. This is a freewheeling recipe meant to be tinkered with. Try adding cheese, cooked rice, spicy red pepper flakes, shredded prosciutto, cooked sausage or pancetta, anything you like.
If you would like to add nuts, chop some and add to the top, not the filling, so they may toast during cooking. Pine nuts or pistachios are great in this dish.
We recommend making your own breadcrumbs. Throw some regular bread slices into a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Very easy and any leftovers keep well in the freezer. You may use an artisan, rustic loaf, but the crumb will be larger and not as dry. In any event, try to use bread crumbs that are not seasoned.
4 medium tomatoes, not overly ripe, cored
1 onion, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons raisins or currants
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons brine or oil-cured black olives, chopped (oil cured are stronger, use what you like)
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a baking dish with some olive oil.
Cut a 1/2-inch slice off the top (stem end) of the tomato. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Turn the tomatoes upside down on a paper towel to drain.
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, sea salt, and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes to brown the onions a bit, stirring often. Add the garlic and saute briefly, about 30 seconds or less. Add the raisins or currants and vinegar and cook 1 minute or so, until the vinegar mostly evaporates. Remove pan from the heat and add the herbs, capers, black olives, and bread crumbs. Mix well and taste for seasoning. Add more of what you like: sea salt, pepper, vinegar.
Season the tomatoes on the inside with sea salt and pepper. Stuff with the filling and place in the baking dish. Drizzle generously over the top with olive oil.
Bake the tomatoes 30 minutes or so, until the tomatoes are cooked through, soft when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, and tops are golden brown.
Recipe and Photograph Copyright Deirdre Davis 2016
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