Ricotta-Stuffed Heirlooms

Yes, this recipe from the New York Times does bake part of the tomatoes but it  also uses the insides raw in a dressing.  This preserves the incredible umami flavor of heirloom tomato juices.

Cut the tops off 4 or more ripe tomatoes, then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds insides while leaving the shell intact.  Place the insides in a bowl and combine with 1 T. lemon juice, 1 T. capers or chopped olives, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a teaspoon of chopped fresh herbs.  Whisk in 1-2 T. olive oil until it becomes a nice vinagrette.

For the filling, mix together 1 C. ricotta cheese, 1/2 C. grated parmesan, 1/2 t. lemon zest, black pepper or red pepper flakes to taste, 1 t. olive oil, and 2 T. fresh chopped fresh herbs.

Stand the tomatoes up in a small baking dish, then stuff with the filling to overflowing.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes, until the filling begins to brown.

Allow the tomatoes to cool for a few minutes, then pour the vinagrette over them and serve.

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