romaine pesto and egg-stuffed tomatoes

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Romaine Pesto and Egg-Stuffed Tomatoes
Adapted from Gourmet, September 2006

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large head romaine (about 1 1/2 lb) *
1 large garlic clove
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 oz finely grated parmesan (1/2 cup), plus additional for serving
6 large tomatoes (about 3 inches in diameter)
6 large eggs at room temperature

Strip romaine leaves from stems, reserving both separately, then tear leaves into roughly 2-inch pieces. Measure 4 loosely packed cups of leaves and reserve remainder. With motor running, add garlic to food processor to finely chop. Turn off and add the 4 cups romaine leaves along with the parsley, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cheese, then pulse until finely chopped. With motor running, add remaining cup oil in a slow stream, blending until incorporated.

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut off about 1/8 inch from top of each tomato with a sharp knife.** Gently scrape out pulp and seeds with a spoon and discard them. Put tomatoes, cut sides up, in a 9-inch glass or ceramic dish and spoon 1 tablespoon romaine-parsley pesto into each tomato (you will have extra pesto). Crack 1 egg into each tomato and season with salt and pepper. Bake eggs in tomatoes until whites are set and yolks are still runny, 18 to 22 minutes.

* I didn’t use nearly this much lettuce. For one, I was only making four eggs, and two, I had a hunch this would make an egregious amount. I may have used 4-6 leaves, tops, and half the oil and parsley.

** I ended up beveling a little sliver off the bottoms, too, to stop them from rolling over in the dish and dumping out their eggs, and you may have guessed happened before I came up with my brilliant solution. Next time I’d put a droplet of oil underneath the beveled tomatoes, as they stuck a little to the bottom, something I should have also seen coming.

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