Tomatoes Stuffed with Puréed Cauliflower and Feta
It took me a while to get used to the idea of making a stuffed tomato dish that did not include rice, since in Greece, stuffed tomatoes tend to mean but one specific rice-filled aromatic dish. I forfeited all my own preconceptions and went ahead with something at once unusual but also elusively Mediterranean.
NotesThis goes great with any greens dishes and with most broccoli dishes. For a slightly more decorative touch, try serving the tomatoes on small beds of boiled greens.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseappetizer, main course, side dish
Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, juicy, salty
Type of Dishvegetable
- 8 medium ripe tomatoes
- 1 small cauliflower (about ½ pound), trimmed and cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons creamy Greek feta, crumbled
- 1/3 pound skim-milk ricotta
- 2 teaspoons dried mint
- 3 tablespoons light cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 large egg
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil an ovenproof glass baking dish large enough to hold the tomatoes snugly in 1 layer.
Cut the crowns off the tomatoes and set aside. Carefully scoop out the pulp without puncturing the tomato skins. Place the pulp in a food processor. Salt the tomatoes lightly on the inside and set aside upside down on a tray lined with paper towels to drain.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a rolling boil and blanch the cauliflower until soft, about 8 minutes. Remove and drain in a colander.
Add the cooked cauliflower to the tomato pulp and olive oil in the food processor. Process until just pureed. Add the feta, ricotta, and mint and pulse to combine. Add the cream in tablespoon increments, pulsing on and off until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the lemon juice and then the egg, pulsing after each addition. Add pepper to taste.
Fill each tomato with the cauliflower mixture. Place the caps gently back on the tomatoes without pressing down. Place in the baking pan, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for about 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender and the filling is set. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and serve.
2005 Diane Kochilas