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Diggin' It

Tomatoes in the garden and the kitchen

A gardener and a chef team up to talk about how to grow and prepare tomatoes, including an easy, delicious recipe for Pepperoni Pizza Tomatoes.

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Finely chopped fresh garlic or garlic powder to taste, optional

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12 thin slices pepperoni, divided (I used prepackaged sliced)

3/4 cup “6 Cheese Italian” (I used Sargento Classic 6 Cheese Italian for testing purposes)

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh Greek oregano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray an ovenproof baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Cut tomatoes in half and level to stand upright by cutting a small slice from the bottom of each tomato half. Scoop out the seeds and the pulp. Lightly salt the inside of the tomatoes and add fresh garlic or garlic powder to taste, if desired. Place the tomato halves in the ovenproof dish. Place a slice of pepperoni down into the center of the tomato. This will form a “cup” around the inside of the tomato.

Chop 4 slices of pepperoni and set aside.

Mix the cheese, basil, and oregano. Put 1 tablespoon cheese mixture into the pepperoni “cup.” When finished filling the tomatoes with cheese mixture, divide the chopped pepperoni between each tomato and place on top of the cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until tops are bubbly and lightly brown. Serve immediately. Serve on small plates, or smear the cooked tomatoes on toasted baguette slices. Serves 2 to 4.

Editor's Note: To read more of Anne and Linda's "how to grow and prepare" series, click here.


Linda Weiss and Anne Moore met while Linda was the food editor and Anne was the garden editor for South Carolina Homes & Gardens magazine. They now write articles for the ETV GardenSMART television show website, where Anne is the horticulture editor, gardening consultant, and e-newsletter editor. Anne has written for magazines and newspapers. She is a member of and a recipient of a Silver Award for magazine writing from the Garden Writers Association. Linda is a personal chef. She attended Le Cordon Bleu of Paris’ catering program, has appeared as a guest chef on numerous television shows, has been a culinary educator for 10 years, and a food writer for a number of magazines. She is a professional member of The James Beard Foundation and the Southern Foodways Alliance. She has written a cookbook, "Memories From Home, Cooking with Family and Friends."

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