Herb-Stuffed Tomatoes

Herb-Stuffed Tomatoes
Recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi

When I served these as a side dish for my Ottolenghi dinner, the tomatoes were at their seasonal peak and so sweet and delicious. The fresh herbs and saltiness of the olives made them shine. Enjoy!

Serves 4

4 medium tomatoes (ripe but firm)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
12 wrinkly (dry-cured) black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 tablespoons chopped oregano
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped capers
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F (163 C). Trim about 3/8 inch off the top of each tomato and discard. Use a little spoon or a melon baller to remove the seeds and most of the flesh, leaving a clean shell. Lightly salt the inside of the tomatoes and place upside down in a colander, to drain off some moisture.

2. Meanwhile, put the onion, garlic, olives, and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium pan and cook on low heat for 5 to 6 minutes, to soften the onion completely. Remove from the heat and stir in the panko, herbs, capers, and some pepper. Taste and add salt, if you like.

3. Wipe the insides of the tomatoes with a paper towel, then fill them up with the herb stuffing, pressing down very gently as you go to get a nice dome of stuffing on top.

4. Place the tomatoes in a greased ovenproof dish and drizzle lightly with the remaining oil. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes soften. Serve hot or warm.

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