Saturday, July 11, 2009

Baked tomatoes with mozzarella, anchovies and breadcrumbs

Serves 4

A great dish as part of a variety of mezzah, the fancy bit of a picnic, or just with salad for a tasty lunch all on its own. Plum tomatoes tend to hold their shape better than the round varieties, but don't let that stop you if round ones are what you have, and if you should have the time and patience, doing this with cherry tomatoes makes a gorgeous little canape moment.

12 plum tomatoes
175g fresh breadcrumbs
8 anchovy fillets
2 large cloves garlic
a good handful of basil leaves
a ball of mozzarella
6 tblsp olive oil

Chop the anchovies, peel and finely chop the garlic and cut the mozzarella into small dice.

Preheat the oven to 220°c/ gas mark 7. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthways and scoop the seeds into a sieve over a bowl to drain off most of the water. Place the tomatoes skin-side down in a roasting tin so that they nudge up against one another nice and snug.

Mix the tomato scoopings with the breadcrumbs, anchovies, garlic, basil, mozzarella and two tablespoons of the olive oil.

Season the stuffing lightly with salt and plenty black pepper, and pile the filling into the tomato halves. Pour over the remaining olive oil and bake for 25 minutes until the filling is golden.