My garden's tomato plants are doing their thing and the recent influx of tomatoes has spurred some creativity (and googling) and here's a great recipe.
Recipe from Lidia Bastianich, and photo is of my attempt at her lovely dish.
Please know that I'm very much not a cook and tend to even burn microwave popcorn.
I didn't add the eggs to most of them, as my brother has a bit of egg-phobia and doesn't like the sneaky bastards anywhere near his food.
Bastianich has a PBS show with plenty of ideas for those who want more.
4 large firm tomatoes, halved at the belly
2 cups stale 1/2-inch country bread cubes, crusts removed
2/3 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Scoop out the seeds and pulp of the tomatoes over a fine strainer making tomato shells. Press the collected seeds and pulp through the strainer and collect the juice. You should have about 3/4 cup tomato juice.
In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, 1/3 cup grated cheese, parsley, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss well.
Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and set the tomato shells inside. Season the inside of the tomatoes with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Pack the tomatoes with the stuffing, making an indentation in each mound of stuffing large enough to break an egg into. Pour tomato juice in the bottom of the pan (but not on the tomatoes).
Bake for about 10 minutes to heat the filling and get the tomato juices bubbling. Uncover and carefully break an egg into each indentation. Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining 1/3 cup of grated cheese and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Bake for about 15 minutes until the egg whites are set, but yolks are still a little runny.
Recipe found here and is very much not of my own creation
While traveling through Block Island with my family, we came across the rather high-end Ballard’s. Ballard’s is both an inn and restaurant, with its very own private beach property and beach bar. I had the pleasure of eating at the restaurant, which was probably one of the best parts of my trip.
Ballard’s had a very large menu, including seafood, salads, pasta dishes, and lots of drinks. My family and I ordered different dishes from each section, and all were very satisfied. I got the vegetarian pasta, which I highly suggest to any vegetarians nearby who are in search of a good meal. Others in my family tried the scallops, salads, and calamari, all of which were shared and complimented. The drinks were delicious, and some were even served in pineapples (What is this, Aruba?).
But food can only go so far. Atmosphere and service are big contributors too. Fortunately, the atmosphere at Ballard’s lived up to the quality of their food. Guests eat their meals outside, under an arrangement of umbrellas to keep out of direct sunlight. The well-maintained beach property just outside the restaurant also hosts some tables, but mostly beach chairs for the inn guests. Two bars provide drinks to people lounging on the beach or swimming in the ocean.
Ballard’s also makes a point of hiring workers from all corners of the globe. On their name tags, each server has their name and country of origin. South Africa, Jamaica, Romania, Brazil, and Colombia were a few of the places the servers came from. Our waitress was from Romania, and loved telling us about the beauty of her home country. This was fairly surprising, for a small place in Rhode Island, but definitely very cool.
Ballard’s offered a very pleasant dining experience, and if I find myself on Block Island again, I will surely go back (even though it was a little pricey).