The baked, stuffed tomatoes can be prepared in advance and cooked to order. Their own velvety sweetness is enriched with cheddar-cheesy mashed potatoes, chives, thyme and paprika.
6 large, firm tomatoes
Salt, to taste
3 cups mashed Idaho potatoes
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh chives
1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme
1⁄4 tsp. ground pepper
1 1⁄4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1⁄4 cup dry bread crumbs
3 tsp. paprika
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Remove stem end and hollow out each tomato, removing seeds and juice. Sprinkle inside of tomatoes with salt; place upside down on cooling rack to drain for about 15 min.
- In bowl, combine potatoes, chives, thyme, pepper, and 1 cup cheddar. Fill tomato cups with potato mixture.
- In small bowl, combine bread crumbs, remaining 1⁄4 cup cheddar cheese, and paprika; sprinkle on top of each tomato.
- Place filled tomatoes in non-stick or well-oiled muffin pans. Bake 10-15 min., until topping is crisp and tomatoes are heated through.