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Broiled Tomatoes with Feta & Herbed Couscous

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Serves four as a side dish or two as a vegetarian main dish.

  • by Abigail Johnson Dodge from Fine Cooking
    Issue 58

Here’s another use for those ripe summer tomatoes. Salty crumbled feta and tender herbed couscous make a satisfying filling for these easy stuffed tomatoes. They work well as a side dish next to grilled chicken or steak, or as a light main dish.

  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup couscous
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes (about 1 lb. total)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (any combination of mint, basil, and chives)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (about 2 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives (about 14), coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the broiler to high. Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with foil.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp. salt to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and pour in the couscous. Stir once or twice with a fork and cover with a tight-fitting lid or foil. Set aside until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is plumped and tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, core the tomatoes and cut them in half horizontally. Put them cut side up on the baking sheet and season generously with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and sprinkle with half of the garlic and half of the herbs. Broil the tomatoes on the middle rack of the oven for 4 minutes. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the feta and continue to broil until the feta turns a blistery brown, another 4 to 7 minutes.

Remove the cover from the couscous and fluff the grains with a fork. Stir in the remaining herbs, garlic, and 3 Tbs. olive oil, along with the olives, lemon zest, and lemon juice, until well blended and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the couscous onto a plate and set the tomatoes alongside. Serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings; Calories (kcal): 360; Fat (g): 23; Fat Calories (kcal): 200; Saturated Fat (g): 5; Protein (g): 8; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15; Carbohydrates (g): 34; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 550; Cholesterol (mg): 15; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

The herbs make the difference in this dish (and the lemon zest and olives are key ingredients in the couscous). I used 3:1 parsley:mint for a mediterranean flavor but italian herbs would create a completely different dish. The couscous is fantastic. Nice with a Chardonnay.

This was excellent. I made this for lunch today. The only change I made was using organic quinoa as I had no couscous on hand. I will continue to use the quinoa in future. Thai basil, mint and chives were used in the herb mix. A great vegetarian meal.

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