Thursday, 16 February 2012

Stuffed Costoluto Florentino tomatoes

Tomato, giant (aka Israeli) cous-cous (I bought mine from Millie's Organic in Leeds), parsley, feta
Preparation: 15 minutes

If January was about showcasing unusual flavour combinations, then February has been a month of exploring unusual ingredients. This week I have been tasting different types of tomatoes, getting to grips with heirloom/heritage breeds and the different sizes, shapes, colours and flavours. Some tomatoes I ate like grapes, some were longing to be sprinkled with salt or splashed with balsamic vinegar, some were breathtakingly perfect in a caprese salad... I know that I am forever saying that tomatoes should be kept at room temperature, still on the vine and not in a chilled fridge encased in plastic but trust me on this, it makes a world of difference to cooking if you respect your ingredients.
The simplicity of this dish, the salty tang of feta combined with the fresh sweetness of the tomato and bubbled texture of the cous-cous was a triumph.

1) Pour the cous-cous into a pan of boiling salted water and stir through for 6-8 minutes before straining in a sieve and setting aside to cool.

2) Slice the top from the tomato and using a sharp knife, slice around the star-shaped core. Plunge a fork into the core, twist and remove it, then scoop out the seeds.

3) Slice the feta into matchsticks about the width of the ridges in your tomato and press the feta into the edges of the tomato, leaving the core empty.

4) Spoon the cous-cous into the gap and top with parsley before replacing the lid of the tomato. Bake for 5 minutes at 200 degrees and serve hot.

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