Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes

A friend of Ben's family was in Vermont and made this for everyone. I made a variation using the fennel from the share in place of the olives and the tomatoes I had (about 5 and some cherry tomatoes as well) instead of the plum tomatoes.

Slow roasted Tomatoes with Feta, Olives & Pine Nuts

12 medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 1/4 tsps. salt
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups crumbled feta cheese (about 8 ounces)
1 3-ounce package cream cheese
2/3 cup pitted, coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
2 tsps. dried oregano (I used fresh)
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and turn, cut side down, to drain for 30 minutes on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet with a rim. Meanwhile, warm a small skillet over low heat. Add pine nuts; saute, stirring constantly until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix feta, cream cheese, olives, pine nuts and oregano in a medium bowl. Turn tomatoes cut side up and fill with about 2 Tbs. of the feta mixture. Bake until tomatoes are soft but still hold their shape, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with oil. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Verdict: The filling is tremendous and would make a great spread for other things. They were good hot and warm but really, these were best as leftovers, cold out of the refrigerator and I don't really know why that is. But if I make them again, I'll make them the day before and serve them cold. Hmm, an appetizer.

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