My wife brought home some cottage cheese on impulse from the store the other day, and it just kept staring at me from the refrigerator shelf. The ingredient seemed so '80s! All I kept thinking about was that it was the kind of thing people used to eat on a diet: cottage cheese on a tomato. That wasn't really doing it for me. So, I decided to taste it. It was really good and very milky and soft, much like fresh mozzarella. All of a sudden, the tomato idea didn't seem so bad. It just needed a little update.
Any regular reader of the blog knows we love a caprese salad. We have done a salad in a jar, a vegan version with tofu, a tart, and many more versions of this combo. Now we can add Caprese-Style Stuffed Tomatoes to the growing list.
Caprese-Style Stuffed Tomatoes
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
4 medium tomatoes
1 16-ounce container of organic low-fat cottage cheese (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1/4 cup olive oil (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1 - 1 1/2 cups loose-packed fresh basil (torn or cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Maldon sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper (to taste)
In a small pan over medium-high heat, cook the balsamic vinegar until it is reduced by half. Stir constantly as the vinegar boils so as not to scorch the sugars. This should take about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Cut the top off of each tomato and run your knife around the inside to dislodge the flesh and seeds. Pull out the flesh and seeds from each tomato and reserve them for another use. Season the inside of the tomato with salt and pepper to taste. Stuff each tomato with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the cottage cheese. Drizzle the top of each tomato (and the plate) with the thickened balsamic reduction and olive oil. Garnish with basil, chives, and salt and pepper to taste.