- 2 cups bechamel sauce (recipe below)
- 6 large ripe tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onion, including green tops
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cups well-drained chopped, cooked spinach (2-3 bunches)
- 1 cup (4 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup (8 oz.) chicken stock
Preheat and oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the bechamel sauce and set aside. Slice off the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out the pulp and seeds. Invert the tomatoes on a dish to drain. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and parsley and saute for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until all the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the bechamel sauce, stirring to mix well with the spinach. Stir in 1/2 cup ( 2 oz.) of the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
Place the tomatoes, hollow side up, in a baking dish. Sprinkle the insides with salt and pepper. Spoon an equal amount of the spinach mixture into each tomato. Pour 1/2 cup of the stock around the tomatoes. Place in the oven and bake until soft, about 40 minutes, basting with the dish juices 2 or 32 times during baking. Add the remaining 1/2 cup stock to the dish as need for basting.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup (2oz.) cheese evenly over the tomato tops. Return to the oven until the cheese is golden, 5-6 minutes.
Makes 6 servings
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups milk, heated, or 1 cup each milk and chicken stock, heated
- salt and freshly ground white pepper
Melt the butter gently in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until blended, 1 minute. Add the paprika and bay leaf. Gradually add the milk or milk and stock, stirring constantly with a small whisk. Continue to whisk over low heat until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened, 4-5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Raise the heat to medium and simmer to blend the flavors, 2-3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf before using.
Makes about 2 cups.