This is another of those recipes that for me lifts an ordinary recipe into the realms of the outstanding. When I think of all the years that I have laboured under the impression that tomatoes and peppers had to be stuffed with a rice mixture. Well when I saw this North African recipe, I was almost quivering with excitement to try it. It did not disappoint me or my wife.
The recipe which I first saw in Treehugger, was a little more complicated than my version, calling for among other things, for pinenuts. Well, yes I agree that pinenuts would be rather nice, but they are also rather expensive, and so I used alternatives. Pinenuts will have to wait for that special occasion. I have made this twice now and first time I used ground almonds and this time I used smashed up hazel nuts. Both were very tasty but for me the ground almonds edged it. Although the smashed hazel nuts added another dimension to the texture.
Ingredients – Serves 4 Preparation about 10 minutes and cooking time about 55 minutes
4 large Beef Steak Tomatoes (or double up on smaller tomatoes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
I onion finely sliced
1 clove garlic minced
600gm/190z/4 cups zucchini coarsely grated
1 teaspoon chilli flakes (or to taste)
50g/2oz/2 tablespoons of ground or smashed nuts (almond/hazel/walnut or pinenut)
salt and pepper
Cut the top from the tomatoes and scoop out the flesh and seeds, retaining them for another meal. Sprinkle with a little salt.
In a frying pan, gently fry the onion for 5 minutes in the olive oil, until it softens.
Add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.
Add the grated zucchini and dried chilli and fry for 10 minutes turning the zucchini every 2 minutes or so.
Add the nuts and season to your taste. Stir well.
Stuff the tomatoes with the mixture, filling to the brim.
Put the filled tomatoes into a suitable greased oven proof dish or loaf tin and put them into a pre-heated oven set at 180C/350F/Gas 4/moderate, for about 40 to 45 minutes.
Serve immediately with boiled potatoes and a green vegetable of your choice.
NB I think that instead of ordinary onions, spring onion/scallions would add an extra flavour. Even leeks would be interesting here as well