People change. I never really understood that. Obviously, people grow and mature, but actually change? I was never so sure. Maybe you take up a new hobby or make a career change or find yourself living in a new city, but those are circumstances. You are who you are, right?
Then, a few weeks ago, I found myself ready for summer to end and fall to begin for the first time in my life. I start wishing it were summer on January 2, so the fact that I am ready to wish my favorite season a fond farewell well before it’s scheduled end has surprised me.
Apparently, people change, and I’m one of them.
One thing I will miss when it finally cools off is the abundance of summer produce. Some day I will have a garden, but for now, I buy as many tomatoes for at the Farmer’s Market as a can.
I enjoy tomatoes raw with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper, but I’m also always looking for new ways to use them in meals. This easy stuffed tomato recipe is definitely on of my favorite finds. Bonus points that it makes good use of another summer staple: basil pesto.
With just five main ingredients, these white bean and pesto stuffed tomatoes are a quick recipe you can pull together in a flash. If you do not want to go to the trouble of scooping and stuffing the tomatoes, the pesto bean mixture served with a sliced tomato sounds like a fine option too. Enjoy!
Stuffed Tomatoes with White Beans & Pesto
Yield 4 servings
For the Tomatoes
1, 16-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup pesto
1/2 medium red onion, minced
1/2 celery rib, minced
salt and pepper to taste
4 large ripe tomatoes
For the Pesto
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt, to taste
- Toss the white beans in a medium bowl with the pesto, onion, celery, and salt and pepper.
- Slice the top off each tomato and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. If desired, reserved the pulp for a later use (see note). Turn the tomatoes over onto a plate to allow them to drain.
- Give the tomatoes a few minutes, then stuff each with the bean mixture. Enjoy the stuffed tomatoes at room temperature for the most flavor.
- If you need to make homemade pesto, place the basil leaves, garlic cloves, walnuts, and Parmesan cheese in a food processor and pulse to combine.
- Keep the food processor running and slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto comes together, adding more or less depending on you preferred consistency.
- Salt to taste.
- Place the leftover pesto in a jar and pour a bit of olive oil over the top of the pesto. Store in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can freeze leftover pesto in an empty ice cube tray. Once frozen, turn out the pesto cubes and transfer to a zip-top plastic bag. Continue to store in the freezer.
What are you supposed to do with that tomato pulp you set aside from scooping out the tomatoes? The original recipe called for discarding it. I felt too wasteful washing the pulp down the drain, so I put it in a mason jar and stored it in the freezer. I'll defrost it and stir it into a sauce or other dish in the future.
The pesto recipe here will yield more than the 1/2 cup you need for the stuffed tomatoes.
Check out quinoa stuffed tomatoes for a warm stuffed tomatoes recipe.