Pomodori Ripieni con Formaggio Caprino ed Erba Cipollina

Tomatoes Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Chives

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • For

    6 to 8

    Persons

Appears in

Marcella's Italian Kitchen

Marcella's Italian Kitchen

By Marcella Hazan

Published 1986

  • About

For this recipe, I have combined two ingredients that had long been a part of the Italian larder, but that today in Italy have almost been forgotten. True, tender goat’s milk cheese still exists but, except for the kind packed in olive oil, is seldom found outside its few, hilly production areas. Chives are located more frequently in private herb gardens than in a vegetable market. They are both firmly attached, however, to Italian concepts of flavor. The sweet pungency of goat’s milk works well, I find, with the onionlike reminiscences of the chives. Nor does it hurt that the presentation—which evokes the Italian colors through the tomato red, the white of the cheese, and the green chive—is as pretty as it is good.

Plum tomatoes are the ones I prefer because they have enough firm meat to balance the creamy cheese stuffing and their cavities are not too large.

Ingredients

  • 9 ripe plum tomatoes about 2 inches long
  • ½ pound goat cheese, mild and creamy rather than sharp and crumbly
  • Heaping cup chopped chives, keeping the tips of 2 spears for each tomato
  • 4 or more tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, depending on the creaminess of the goat cheese
  • Black pepper in a grinder

Method

  1. Rinse the tomatoes in cold water. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out all the seeds and inner partitions. Place them cut side down in a colander. Let drain for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Put the cheese, chopped chives, olive oil, and a liberal grinding of pepper in a bowl. Using a fork or wooden spoon, mash all the ingredients together to form a smooth, creamy mixture.
  3. Divide the cheese mixture roughly into as many parts as you have tomato halves. Spoon the mixture into the tomatoes, heaping it into a mound, if there is enough of it. In the center of the mound embed the tip of a chive spear, the sharp end pointing up. Serve at room temperature.

Serving Suggestions

As a lively and very pretty appetizer, either before the first course or replacing it, in any meal that includes a meat course and in which tomato is not prominent. Serve also as part of a buffet.