I love this time of year when tomatoes are ripening on the vine. There is nothing so tasty as eating a tomato freshly picked, still warm from the sun. Although tomatoes are available all year around, I especially like them in the autumn when they seem to have a flavour all of their own.
Tomatoes can be stuffed with so many different ingredients but I recently made these spicy ones as I had some minced beef in the fridge and I decided to make them using Ras el Hanout spice mix, apricots and pistachios. The result was delicious – sweet juicy tomatoes filled with a spicy, fruity, nutty meat mixture. I filled the tomatoes earlier in the day and they kept well in the fridge until evening, when I cooked them.
4 large tomatoes
8oz lean minced beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped (optional)
Handful of dried apricots, chopped
Handful of pistachio kernels, chopped
2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout spice mix
Gently sauté the onion (and garlic, if using) in a splash of olive oil until soft.
Add the beef mince and cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously until the beef has browned.
Stir in the Ras el Hanout spice and mix thoroughly.
Add the apricots and pistachio nuts.
Set aside to cool.
Pack each tomato with the spicy meat mix, carefully pressing down the meat.
Place on a baking sheet, or to prevent rolling over, in a bun tin.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 180°C until the tomato is cooked and the filling heated through.
Serve with a fresh green salad or an assortment of vegetables.
NB: All photographs used in this blog have been taken by me, and are of food I have prepared myself.