Tomatoes are delicious: BLT Casserole
My friends, on the other hand, raved over the end result. Like Madonna in the '80's, the BLT stuffed tomatoes had everything going for them: caramelization, gooey cheese, crunchy bacon, soft bread, fresh spinach and a touch of spice. They have begged me to make them again ever since.
When Coy told me that he bought a steak to grill, I briefly considered revisiting my barbarism. What could be a better accompaniment to a steak than anything BLT-flavored? Luckily, I couldn't find uniformly sized heirloom tomatoes at the farmer's market. So I made BLT casserole.
Personally, I like it even better than the stuffed tomatoes! You just can't go wrong with quinoa and an egg- it makes everything light and fluffy. The tomatoes are juicy, the bacon is smokey, the top is caramelized. It hit the spot.
-serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side dish
1/2 cup quinoa
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 one pound tomato, preferably heirloom
1 cup spinach
3 slices applewood smoked, thick cut bacon
1 large egg
1/4 cup cheese, grated (you guessed it, I used goat milk gouda)
2t fresh rosemary
1t hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
Sauté onion in pot until golden brown. Add quinoa to same pot and cook with water or stock (I used low sodium vegetable stock). When it is done, take it off the heat and add spinach, tomatoes (chopped into 1/2 inch cubes) and rosemary. Toss to combine. Meanwhile, cook bacon in separate pan until crisp. Reserve 1t of drippings to beat with egg, rosemary, cheese and hot sauce. Chop bacon very fine. Toss everything together and bake in an au gratin dish at 400 degrees for 25 minutes and then broil top until golden and bubbly.
*Note: I used a small pinch of salt while caramelizing the onions. Other than that, I do not recommend adding salt or pepper. The stock, bacon and cheese already have plenty of salt and the Sriracha has pepper.