First thought: Yum!!
Second thought: I'm not so sure what makes this very Moroccan.
I agree with Kelly that the next time I make it I will use more spices -- saffron, cinnamon and cumin come to mind as possibilities -- and probably some chopped dates all added in the vegetable mixture. But, this was still a wonderfully flavorful dish and an especially tasty way to cook tomatoes as they start pouring into the market during summer.
I was out of pistachios so used toasted slivered almonds, and it made a great substitution. I also reduced the cooking time to 30 minutes so as to not make the tomato too soft. It was great to slice into a stuffed tomato that still had structure to it.
More on The Cooking Project.
We've been eating tomatoes at pretty much every meal for the past two weeks, except last night when my husband cried "enough" and I made a Chinese stir fry with nary a tomato in sight. No doubt a lot of you are feeling the same way, but as I said to my Parentables editor who was bemoaning the glut of tomatoes from her garden, just think about January for a minute. Don't those tomatoes look absolutely delicious now?
I don't usually make stuffed things because generally it's a pain in the neck, but these were very simple to make, and not time consuming at all. This would make a great first course if you are planning an end of the season barbeque this weekend. You can make it ahead of time and and serve it at room temperature, especially if it's going to be hot where you are. I'll certainly make this again, but I think next time I would spice it up a bit more, adding some ground cumin and turmeric and maybe even some raisins to make it more Moroccan tasting.
This recipe is adapted from The New York Times, August 15, 2011.
Moroccan Stuffed Tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing baking dish
6 medium ripe vine tomatoes, tops sliced off and seeds removed
1 medium onion, very thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and grated
1/2 pound zucchini, trimmed and grated
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/3 teaspoon chile flakes, or to taste
3 tablespoons toasted shelled pistachios.
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush a baking dish, large enough to hold the tomatoes snugly, with a little olive oil. Arrange the tomatoes in the dish, cut side up, and sprinkle lightly with salt.
2. Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat, and add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Heat until shimmering. Add onion and sauté until golden and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and zucchini, and sauté until the zucchini is just starting to soften, about 2 minutes.
3. Remove pan from the heat, and add cilantro, chile flakes, and 2 tablespoons pistachios. Season with salt to taste, mixing well. Divide the filling equally among the tomatoes, mounding the tops.
4. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked as desired. Garnish with the remaining pistachios. Serve warm or at room temperature.