When you hear the word “stuffed,” what comes to mind? (Other than a food coma and a too-tight waistband…) Is it…
— veggies, like bell peppers or chilies piled with rice, meat, and cheese?
— Thanksgiving, with the turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, and stuffing?
— pasta, like ravioli or tortellini crammed with cheeses and herbs?
— pizza, with the dough folded over to hide extra melted cheese under the crust?
Somehow, I managed to combine both the first and last options in my brain in a Tasmanian-devil-like cyclone to come up with… Pizza-stuffed tomatoes!
It sounded like a perfectly good idea at the time, but most things that seem logical to me, others find about as clear as mud. So let me explain…
I didn’t want to take a slice of pizza, pulverize it in a blender, and shove it into a tomato. A pizza smoothie in a tomato cup does not sound appealing, even to crazy ol’ me. Instead, I made an inside-out pizza. I took all of the pizza ingredients, used the tomato as the “crust,” and baked an irresistibly funky dinner.
Hawaiian Pizza Stuffed Tomatoes
Feel free to substitute your favorite pizza toppings instead! Serve with a fresh salad.
2 large globe or beefsteak tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp basil
½ tsp dried onion flakes
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 piece whole-wheat sandwich bread or English muffin
⅓ c. diced ham
⅓ c. diced pineapple
¼ c. finely grated mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
- Cut the tops off of the tomatoes, and carefully scrape out the pulp from the inside, leaving a generous ¼-inch border of skin and innards. Reserve 3-4 tsp of the pulp.
- In a medium bowl, combine the tomato paste through black pepper. Add in 2-3 tsp of the reserved tomato pulp, adding more pulp for a more liquidy consistency.
- Tear the bread product into tiny pieces, or shred in a food processor for 30-60 sec. Add bread, ham, ¼ c. of pineapple, and 3 tbsp of cheese to the tomato sauce, stirring until everything is well-coated. Spoon half of the mixture into one tomato shell, and top with ½ tbsp of cheese and half of remaining pineapple. Repeat with remaining tomato and tomato mixture.
- Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and pineapple begins to brown a bit. Serve immediately.