Glorified Stuffed Tomatoes

I often get my food inspiration on-site at the supermarket. I was in Key Food the other day and saw cute, tiny, orange habanero peppers. I thought it would be tasty to stuff them and make a  spicy treat. Admittedly, I also thought the little peppers would look adorable when photographed for instagram (I know, I know).

stuffed habaneros

I made a delicious, unconventional breadcrumb filling with garlic and herbs, more an Italian vibe than Spanish inspired. Long story short, as predicted, they looked amazing on my IG account and the likes rolled in. But I wasn’t thinking clearly. I underestimated just how hot habaneros are. I popped one in. That began a 30 minute episode of atomic bomb fire mouth and an eye-tearing frenzy. Even later in the day, after washing my hands a few times, I touched my eye and it reignited the irritation. I would only recommend eating stuffed habaneros if you have sinus congestion and want to clear out your whole nasal system.

My off day in the kitchen continued when I was too lazy to look for the regular salt and grabbed sea salt instead. I dumped too much into the chickpea salad I made next. I was still hungry after all. Another fail.

Third time’s a charm they say. I had a lot of the breadcrumb mixture leftover from the habaneros. In front of my eyes on the kitchen shelf were four vine ripe tomatoes. As I was preparing to stuff them, I started to think how this is an uncommon dish. We stuff peppers and mushrooms, why not tomatoes? Maybe I’ll start a new 2022 food trend with this column.

The tomatoes came out so delicious. They tasted like healthy, deconstructed pizza, in a round ball. One tip… make sure the tomatoes aren’t too ripe. Choose ones that are firm. Tomato lovers you must try this recipe!

Glorified Stuffed Tomatoes

Paula’s Glorified Stuffed Tomatoes

4 medium vine ripe tomatoes (not too ripe!)
1¼  cup seasoned breadcrumb
¼ cup chopped basil
4 slices mozzarella
½  cup Colavita olive oil
¼ cup water
6 cloves, diced garlic
⅓ cup shredded pecorino romano + 4, ½ inch chunks
Oregano, hot pepper flakes, salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Step 2: In a bowl add the breadcrumb, shredded pecorino romano, chopped basil, diced garlic, spices and oil. Add the water slowly and mix. The consistency should be slightly damp, not too wet. 

Step 3: With a sharp knife, cut the top inch off the tomatoes. If the tomato isn’t sitting upright, cut a thin piece off the bottom so it sits flat. Scoop out some of the tomato insides and drain the liquid. Coat the tomatoes with oil. Put a chunk of pecorino inside and stuff the tomato with the mixture.

Step 4: Top the tomato with a slice of mozzarella and cover with the tomato top. Oil a baking sheet and place each tomato on the tray. Cook for 30 minute. Let it cool for a few minutes and serve.

Making mistakes in the kitchen (or in life for that matter) is necessary to learn and grow. Next time something doesn’t workout the way you intended, find a new approach and spin it into a glorified success. 

The Filling

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tagged in recipe, recipes, tomatoes