Herb Stuffed Tomatoes-an Ottolenghi Recipe

Ottolenghi`s Herb Stuffed Tomatoes

Ottolenghi`s Herb Stuffed Tomatoes

Runners do it better. I think the `it` refers to eating. Have to say, running has given me a dangerous appetite and, even though I have a capacity to eat any kind of rubbish, I enjoy good food with a new fervour. Gotta get all those vitamins and minerals in. And today`s recipe ticks those boxes.

And ta-da! to discovering new versions of old recipes. Last time I ate stuffed tomatoes, my mother was in some experimental phase back in the eighties. Maybe experimental cooking is actually one of Signs of a Mid Life Crisis. Who knows?

Anyway, I loved them then, and, even though her recipe is long gone, I was very happy for Yotam Ottolenghi-he of the exotic name and the even more exotic Middle Eastern food-to show me how it`s done.

So here I give you: Herb-Stuffed Tomatoes

4 medium tomatoes, ripe but firm

Salt and ground black pepper

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 salted anchovy fillets, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

30g panko breadcrumbs

2 tbsp chopped oregano

3 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tbsp chopped mint

1½ tbsp chopped capers

Trim 1cm off the top of each tomato and discard. Use a teaspoon to remove the seeds and most of the flesh, leaving a clean shell. Lightly salt the insides and put in a colander, facing down, to get rid of some moisture.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. In a medium pan, sauté the onion, garlic and anchovy in a tablespoon of oil. Cook on a low heat for two to three minutes, just to soften the onion. Remove from the heat, stir in the breadcrumbs, herbs, capers and pepper, taste and add salt if needed.

Fill the tomato shells with the herb stuffing, pressing down very gently as you go – you want a nice dome of stuffing on top. Place in a greased, ovenproof dish, drizzle over the remaining oil and bake for about 20 minutes. Serve lukewarm.

Panko-What`s that?
Panko breadcrumbs are Japanese. They`re made from crustless bread and are light and crunchy. Couldn`t get panko this end of the universe to save my life. Not that I tried too hard. A trip to the city might do it sometime. Meanwhile, I just blitzed up some crustless bread in my mini-chopper.

Next time I make these-and that will be soon-I`m going to have the bread a lot staler so the breadcrumbs are drier. But apart from that, I`m happy to make these over and over as they`re easy and they`re full of good stuff.

I am in the process of gathering up all the recipes I`ve mentioned in this blog and putting them here. That`s really just for me. I`ve tried so many new ones lately, I forget what they are. Kills me that I end up cooking and baking the same things over and over. Kills the Teen Chooks too. “Oh no, not lasagne again!”

So, the recipe clippings page keeps the new ones all in one handy place. The aim is to commit them to memory and maybe, just maybe, when it comes to cooking, I`ll do it better too.

18 thoughts on “Herb Stuffed Tomatoes-an Ottolenghi Recipe

  1. Pingback: Lies, Damned Lies and… | redhenrun

  2. Oh that sounds lovely! (and I’m a big fan of anchovies!). Must try it soon.
    About doing the same thing again and again, I suppose when you have to cook the dinner nearly all year, it can be a challenge at the end of a long day to do something “interesting” instead of falling back on something reliable and easy! I found myself getting into a rut in the last year cooking-wise, so I decided to try one new recipe a week or fortnight. I’ve been doing this for the last 6 months. Ok, some recipes were disasters but at least I tried, and I found some real crackers too.

      • Oh, not particularly. French cuisine in itself is great, but a lot of French people don’t know how to cook! I know I bake better than a lot of them! 🙂

      • I`m surprised at the French. I`ve seen them shopping though and there`s no way they`d peg a plastic bag of apples into a trolley. They`re far choosier than we are.

      • Oh they buy very healthy food in general but at least the people I know are not great bakers (maybe because the bakeries do such good pastries!). Some things here baffle me though – dehydrated mashed potato being served in all the canteens, for example. I don’t think it’s particularly expensive or difficult to make “real” mashed potato!

    • You are not alone. Not if my research among work colleagues is anything to go by. We figured we do variations on four dinner themes to get us through the mid week dinner drudgery, breaking out with take aways or sandwiches or other such cop-outs at the weekend. I find myself sliding into the ” as long as its nutritious” pit a lot of the time so that dinner could be any kind of conglomeration that basically covers the food groups without as much as a nod at the taste and presentation departments.

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