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Roasted Tomatoes Stuffed with Couscous, Chanterelles and Pine Nuts


This is an especially easy dish to prepare and to serve. I merely take tomatoes that have been hollowed-out and roasted, fill them with a tabbouleh-like salad and heat them up in the oven for a few minutes. They work perfectly as a course by themselves or as an accompaniment to salmon or swordfish.

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  1. 8 small heirloom tomatoes (e.g. Yellow Taxi, Cherokee or Valerie)
  2. 2 to 3 tablespoons of Herb Oil
  3. 8 garlic cloves
  4. 8 thyme sprigs
  5. 8 tarragon sprigs
  6. 8 bay leaves
  7. 8 large basil leaves
  8. 1 cup cooked couscous
  9. 2 tablespoons quartered, sautéed chanterelle mushrooms
  10. 1 tablespoon tomato concassée
  11. 1 tablespoon roasted pine nuts
  12. 1 tablespoon finely diced, peeled cucumber
  13. 1 tablespoon sautéed sweet corn kernels
  14. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  15. 1 teaspoon chopped chives
  16. 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
  17. 1 teaspoon chopped mint
  18. 1 teaspoon chiffonade of opal basil
  19. Salt and pepper
  20. 16 chive pieces, about 2-inches long
  1. Peel the tomatoes and cut a 3/4-inch slice off the bottom of each, reserving them for lids. Scoop out the seeds and the center flesh. Rub the insides with a little Herb Oil and put a clove of garlic, a sprig of thyme, a sprig of tarragon, a bay leaf and a basil leaf in each tomato. Put the lids on and roast at 325°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tomatoes just begin to soften (not so long that they lose their shape). Remove and discard the garlic and herbs.
  2. Warm the couscous over a double-boiler and stir in the mushrooms, tomato concassée, pine nuts, cucumber and corn one at a time until they are thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the olive oil, chopped chives, tarragon, mint and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon the warm couscous salad into the hot tomatoes and top with the lids. Rub the tomatoes with a little Herb Oil and return them to the oven for 5 minutes. Place 2 tomatoes on each plate, garnish each with 2 chive pieces and serve.

Suggested Pairing

The sweetness attained by the tomatoes when they are roasted makes them an excellent vehicle for the additional rich flavors of pine nuts and chanterelles. This complex tomato dish, made more substantial by the couscous, will stand up to a medium-bodied red wine. The mint and basil suggest an herbally influenced wine, like Sangiovese. The fruitiness of this wine works well, while its zesty finish resolves the sweet tomato flavors.