Summertime means lots of salads with fresh ripe tomatoes. However, sometimes it’s nice to use the tomatoes for other purposes, such as in the recipe here, for tomatoes stuffed with a tasty cheese mixture.
This doesn’t mean we’ll skip the tomato salad option altogether. Quite the contrary, the scooped inner part will be a base for a quick and tasty salad.
The tomatoes are at their best when served close to baking time. If you have other tasks to deal with, you can place the unbaked stuffed tomatoes for a couple of hours, covered, in the fridge, until you’re ready to bake them. Just remember to bring to room temperature before placing in the oven.
The same goes for the salad, it’s best when mixed just before serving, to keep the bread a bit crispy.
The baked tomatoes can be served as an appetizer, with a green salad on the side, or as a side dish, with grilled meats or fish.
Feta and Scallion Stuffed tomatoes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes
4 ripe but firm plum tomatoes
2 scallions, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup bread croutons, preferably homemade
1 cup feta cheese (I used goat’s milk feta)
1 L egg
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 400F (205C). Line a medium size pan, that can hold all the tomatoes in one layer, with foil and baking paper
2. Cut the tomatoes in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the inner part (keep for the salad recipe below).
3. Place the scallions, garlic and croutons in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, and process to a crumbly mixture. Add the cheese, egg, salt, pepper and half of the olive oil, and process briefly to a not too fine mixture.
4. Fill the scooped tomatoes with the mixture. Place in the pan and drizzle a bit from the left olive oil on top. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes are cooked but still keep their shape and the cheese mixture is golden-brown.Let stand for 2-3 minutes before serving. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil on top and serve.
Tomato bread and anchovies salad Serves 2
Roughly chop the inner part that you’ve scooped out of the tomatoes and place in a bowl. Add 1 Tbs capers, 1 Tbs Za’atar spice mix (I recommend THIS brand) and about 10 anchovy fillets. Season with juice from ½ lemon, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix and add 1 Tbs olive oil and mix again. Add 1 cup bread croutons (preferably homemade) and mix lightly, so that the bread will soak the juices but will still be crisp. Serve immediately.