Roasted stuffed tomatoes
Celebrate the sweetness of tomatoes . Roasting caramelises their sugars, enhancing their sweetness. An array of different-sized and types of tomtatoes are stuffed with farro, anchovies, capers and Pecorino Romano.
110 g (½ cup) cracked farro (freekeh) (see Tips), rinsed
8 large mixed tomatoes (such as kumato, truss, Roma, oxheart, marmande)
250 g 16 0z baby heirloom tomatoes, halved (optional)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small zucchini (about 100 g), cut into 5 mm dice
5 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
⅓ cup finely grated pecorino or parmesan
½ cup (packed) basil or flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
6 stalks large cavolo nero, ribs removed, leaves cut into 10 cm pieces or XX g baby cavolo nero leaves
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place the farro with 1 litre of water in a saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid slightly ajar and cook until the grains double in size and are slightly chewy (about 20 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 200ºC 400F fan-forced or 220ºC non fan-forced.
Cut the tops of the tomatoes, about 1 cm of the way down, and set aside. Using a small spoon, hollow out the tomatoes, scooping out the seeds into a bowl. Strain the tomato seeds, reserving the tomato liquid and discard the solids.
Place the tomato bases and tops and halved baby tomatoes in a baking tray, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, drizzle with olive oil and rub all over to coat well.
When the farro is cooked, drain well and place in a large bowl (yields 1⅔ cups). While it’s still hot, add the half of the reserved tomato liquid (save the remainder to use in dressings), vinegar, olive oil, zucchini, anchovy, cheese and basil and season with freshly ground pepper (the mixture should be salty enough already) and stir to distribute evenly.
Spoon the mixture into the tomato bases, packing firmly and mounding a little at the top, and arrange in the tray, evenly spaced around the other baby tomatoes and tops.
Roast until the stuffed tomatoes have softened, about 30 minutes, (the smaller stuffed tomatoes may have have collapsed a little, which is fine), and the baby tomatoes have caramelised on their edges.
About 10 minutes before the tomatoes are ready, toss the cavolo nero leaves in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Scatter the leaves over the tomatoes and roast until just crispy.
Divide the stuffed tomatoes among plates, place their lids on top, and divide the baby tomatoes and cavolo nero on the plates too.