These stuffed tomatoes were so delicious I made them twice in one week! The idea sprung from a trip to my local grocery store where I spotted some huge, juicy heirloom tomatoes that looked like they had been grown for this exact purpose. This recipe does require a little extra kitchen time and a few pans so my advice is to clean as you go to avoid a pile of mess and to double up on the chicken stuffing as it makes for delicious salads or sandwiches as leftovers.
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes (make sure they are not overripe, skin needs to be firm)
- 4 medium sized mushrooms (button or crimini) caps removed
- 1/2 large chopped Spanish white onion
- Approx. 4.5 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- Approx. 1.5 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse sea salt and cracked pepper
- Greek Feta cheese
- About 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Rind and juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Place the thyme, rosemary, about 1.5 tsp coarse sea salt in a mortar and pestle. Add a generous glug (a few tablespoons) of olive oil then slowly hand grind until the oil is infused with green from the herbs and the delicious, heady aroma from the thyme and rosemary fills your nose.
Place the chicken breast in a small roasting pan with the button mushrooms and add a generous amount of cracked pepper. Coat the chicken on all sides and drizzle over the mushrooms with the herby oil, making sure to scoop out any remaining bits of herb stuck on the bottom.
Place the chicken and mushrooms in the oven and roast for approximately 25 minutes, until bubbling juice in the pan runs clear. Cover with foil or a plate to tent and set aside, reserving juices.
Meanwhile, dice the onion then place in a fry pan on medium-high heat. Add a dash of oil and sweat until translucent. Add in a few small dashes of balsamic and keep stirring until beginning to caramelize . Remove from heat and set aside.
Chop the chicken and mushrooms into bite sized chunks into a bowl then drizzle over the juices from the pan. Mix in the onion.
Using a very sharp knife, cut the top off the tomatoes (don’t throw away!) then cut out the centre by making incisions along the inside edge of the tomato. Using a spoon scoop out any remaining seeds so you have an empty cavity. I used the tomatoes pulp to make a puree with fresh basil.
Get the feta from the fridge and chop into small chunks. Spoon some of the chicken mix into the tomato, add in some feta then spoon some more chicken with a little extra feta. Put the tomatoes in a small roasting dish, place the tops of the mushrooms back on then drizzle over a little olive oil and a little extra salt and cracked pepper. Roast for approximately 10 minutes, until tops of tomatoes are lightly browning and skin is beginning to slightly shrivel.
Serve with a simple side salad such as watercress and roasted carrots.