- 4 beef tomatoes
- pinch sugar
Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…
- 4 tbsp Greek extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 200g minced lamb
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 50g long grain rice
Rice is a grain, the seed of a type of grass, which is the most widely grown and the most…
- 100ml chicken stock
- 4 tbsp chopped dill
- 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…
- 1 tbsp chopped mint
There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Slice the tops off the tomatoes and reserve. Scoop out most of the pulp with a teaspoon, being careful not to break the skin. Finely chop the pulp, and keep any juices. Sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes with a little sugar to take away the acidity, then place them on a baking tray.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and garlic, then gently cook for about 10 mins until soft but not coloured. Add the lamb, cinnamon and tomato purée, turn up the heat, then fry until the meat is browned. Add the tomato pulp and juice, the rice and the stock. Season generously. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 mins or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Set aside to cool a little, then stir in the herbs.
Stuff the tomatoes up to the brim, top tomatoes with their lids, drizzle with 2 tbsp more olive oil, sprinkle 3 tbsp water into the tray, then bake for 35 mins. Serve with salad and crusty bread, hot or cold.
Moussaka-stuffed tomatoesPlace 1 large aubergine on a baking tray, then roast for 30 mins at 200C/180C fan/ gas 6, until tender. Once cool enough to handle, peel and dice the flesh. Follow recipe as above, folding the chopped aubergine into the lamb mix. Spoon a little ready-made béchamel sauce over each tomato before putting the lids on, then bake.
VariationsThese improve in flavour if you cook them the day before you want to serve. Add a drop of water and cover with foil when reheating, or simply serve at room temperature. You can vary the filling by adding feta or broad beans, or even omit the meat entirely and replace chicken for vegetable stock for a great veggie meal.