Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Salmon, Garlic, and Capers
Recipe from Marcella Cucina by Marcella Hazan

1 tablespoon capers, preferably packed in salt
1 pound salmon
3 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon very finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons fine, dry, unflavored bread crumbs
Black pepper ground fresh
Two large ripe, firm tomatoes, weighing approximately 3/4 pound each
4 individual appetizer servings

  1. Drain the capers if packed in vinegar; soak, rinse, and drain if packed in salt, then chop them fine.
  2. Turn the oven on to 400.
  3. Remove the salmon's skin, any loose membranes, and carefully pick out all bones. Cut the fish into very small dice and put in a bowl together with 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped parsley, garlic, capers, 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs, salt, and several grindings of black pepper. Toss thoroughly.
  4. Wash the tomatoes, cut them horizontally in half, scoop out all the seeds and the centers to make a cup-like hollow. (If you are cooking anything else that day or the next that calls for fresh tomatoes, use the scoopings in the recipe.)
  5. Pat the inside of the tomatoes with paper towels to soak up excess juice, then stuff them with the salmon mixture, pressing it down lightly as you do so. There should be enough to form a mound. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining bread crumbs and drizzle with remaining olive oil, holding back a few drops of the latter to smear the bottom of a baking pan.
  6. Place the tomatoes on the baking pan and bake in the upper level of the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until the salmon stuffing has formed a light golden crust. Serve not piping hot, but lukewarm. They are also good later, at room temperature, but not reheated.

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