Mediterranean stuffed tomatoes
A recipe from Vegetables from an Italian Garden
Preparation: 30 minutes plus 1 hour draining
Cooking: 20 minutes
Serves: 6 people
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, de-seeded and cut into 5-mm/¼-inch dice
1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and cut into 5-mm/¼-inch dice
1 aubergine, cut into 5-mm/ ¼-inch dice
1 courgette, cut into 5-mm/ ¼-inch dice
pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
salt and pepper
For the pesto:
5 sprigs basil
150 ml /¼ pint olive oil
65 g /2½ oz Parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove garlic
Slice the tops off the tomatoes and use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds and as much flesh as possible without piercing the ‘shells’. Sprinkle a little salt inside each tomato, turn upside down on a layer of kitchen paper and leave to drain for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the peppers and cook for 2 minutes, then add the aubergine and cook for a further 5 minutes and, finally, add the courgette and cook for 5 minutes more.
Season with salt and pepper, and add the sugar. Increase the heat to high, sprinkle the vegetables with the vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes, until all the moisture from the vegetables has evaporated.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. Stuff the tomatoes with the vegetable mixture.
To make the pesto, put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides once or twice.
Put the tomatoes on a serving dish and spoon a tablespoon of the pesto over each.
Keep in a cool place until ready to serve.