Baked Couscous-Stuffed Tomatoes
I bought the juiciest, most beautiful Florida tomatoes the other day. I’m not diligent —though I should be— about buying local produce but when I do, I feel good about it. It just feels right. It fosters a sense of community that I find sooo lacking in Florida, more so in Orlando.
I marveled at my tomatoes for a while. They were red, plump, firm, juicy. They were perfect. Chopping, slicing or grating them would almost have felt criminal. I wanted to keep them whole; I wanted to see their full shape while eating them. I didn’t want to miss out on that sort of eye candy. I’m a visual eater.
Simple ingredients are required for this recipe yet the results are spectacular. The tomatoes become buttery upon baking and the spicy couscous cooks to a very flavorful filling with a pleasantly crusty top. Seriously, this is a recipe you’ll want to try. Get your hands on some beautiful tomatoes and some couscous and make these. Soon!
This recipe is adapted from Heidi Swanson’s latest book via White on Rice Couple. I tailored it to my taste by leaving out the tofu. I made four tomatoes instead of six and roughly adjusted the ingredient ratios.
BAKED COUSCOUS-STUFFED TOMATOES RECIPE
Yield: 4 TOMATOES
Prep Time: 10 MIN
Cook Time: 50 MIN
4 medium, ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon of hot sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more to brush the tomatoes
12 fresh Basil leaves, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/3 cup of whole grain couscous
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place baking rack in the middle of the oven. Brush a medium baking dish with oil.
Using a serrated knife carefully cut the top of each tomato. Work over a large bowl, scoop out the flesh of each tomato. If you need to, break up any large chunks of the tomato flesh. Place the hollowed out tomato shells in the greased baking dish. Lightly brush the outside of the tomatoes with olive oil.
To make the filling, combine the tomato flesh and juice, hot sauce, olive oil, most of the basil, shallot, soy sauce, garlic, salt and black pepper in a bowl. Add the couscous and stir to combine. Spoon the stuffing in the tomatoes till the tomatoes are almost full.
Bake the tomatoes for 50 minutes, or until the couscous is cooked. Sprinkle the remainder of the basil on the tomatoes. Enjoy warm as a side.