Be with what is is still following me.
I came home from Whole Foods with two filets of Dover sole. I meant to make some sort of a spinach stuffing for it, and roll them up around it. I thought I’d save money by buying fish for two, making enough stuffing for four servings, and stuffing the extra goods into halved tomatoes.
But a kitchen is unpredictable. My stuffing turned out like more of a topping (it would be great for a rack of lamb, or almost any fish), and when dinner came out of the oven, it looked like thin filets of sole, stretched out on their tippy toes, topped with a colorful, crunchy mix of spinach, sundried tomatoes, and breadcrumbs. The thinnest part of one filet, the part I’d considered cutting off, had melted under the topping’s olive oil into the consistency of crunchy shoestring potatoes. I’d also packed it onto tomatoes, and the vegetables and fish looked so funny there on the plate next to each other, like those comparisons in People magazine of two women with vastly different bodies wearing the same outfit.
A few hours later, I was looking at my receipt, and realized I’d actually spent more on the fancy heirloom tomato than on the fish, which was on sale. So, hey. Put the topping on whatever you can find.
On sole, bake only about 10 minutes.
On salmon or halibut, more like 15. On a 1 1/4-pound rack of lamb, more like 25 to 35 minutes.
Recipe for Baked Tomatoes with Spinach-Sundried Tomato Crust (PDF)
Recipe 216 of 365
This is one of those infinitely versatile toppings – keep it in mind for when you have spinach that’s about to go bad. Or make it in big batches, and use some to top tomatoes, and freeze smaller portions to top baked fish, chicken, or halved zucchini, or to add crunch to a meaty stuffing for peppers or mushrooms.
Buy the kind of sundried tomatoes sold in a jar, packed in oil.
TIME: 20 minutes prep
MAKES: 4 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/3 cup breadcrumbs (regular or panko)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 large tomatoes, stems removed, halved horizontally
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, and swirl to coat the pan. Add the spinach, a little at a time if necessary, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until the spinach has wilted completely, about 4 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a paper towel-lined plate to cool and drain.
Place the sundried tomatoes, breadcrumbs, parsley, chives, and cheese in a small mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, chop and add the spinach, and stir to combine well. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over the mixture, and stir until the breadcrumbs are evenly moistened.
Arrange the four tomato halves cut side-up in a baking dish, and pack handfuls of the spinach mixture onto the top of each tomato.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown and the tomato’s juices are beginning to bubble. Serve hot.