green stuffed tomatoes

Lindsey Bareham

These tomatoes are a picture when they come out of the oven. Tomato juices will have soaked up into the little green mounds and the tops will be crusty and golden, the tomatoes soft and their skins wrinkled round their ankles. Tempting though it is to eat them immediately, they come to life when served warm. Good with other tepid food, such as cous cous and soft-boiled eggs, lamb cutlets or simply cooked white fish.

serves 4, prep 15, cook 35

1 lemon
4 garlic cloves
2 thick slices of bread, approx 100g
80g flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
8 medium-large tomatoes or 4 beef tomatoes

Heat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Zest the lemon into the bowl of a food processor. Add torn bread and peeled garlic. Blitz to fine crumbs. Season lightly with salt and pepper and add the parsley leaves. Pulse until the crumbs are green. Cut the tomatoes in half through their middles, or lengthways if using plum tomatoes. Use a teaspoon to carefully dig out the tomato seeds and the juices that surround them without disturbing the “walls’’ between the seed cavities.

Place in a mixing bowl. Add all but 2 tablespoon of the green breadcrumbs. Mix well. Season the cut tomatoes then spoon the mixture back into the cavities, making a little dome and leaving a thin border. Arrange the tomato halves in a gratin-style dish without crowding. Generously dribble a little olive oil over the top. Sprinkle some of the reserved crumbs over the top. Bake for 30-40 min until the breadcrumbs are browned and the tomatoes cooked through. Serve hot, warm or cold.