Make Ahead

Tomatoes, Stuffed and Baked

July 16, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Shaun and I took our first stab at integrating some creative media to the cooking process. If you haven’t checked out our short video yet, visit our blog at or at This recipe was inspired by the two lovely heirloom tomatoes that we’ve had on the kitchen table, ripening to perfection, for the past few days and some micro-basil that I picked up at the North Park Farmers Market yesterday. I went looking for ‘regular’ basil, but a friendly representative from Suzie’s Farms encouraged me to try the mini version and I must say, what a treat! I had honestly never seen or tried anything like it before, and I encourage you to be on the look-out!

This recipe is honestly so easy. It has all the qualities of a fancy expensive restaurant entree, but is even better when you have the freedom to stuff it with what you really love. - Happyolks —Happyolks

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a versatile and delicious seasonal recipe: The soft, warmed goat cheese oozing into the flavorful stuffing is a divine combination. It is simple to make (I used a melon ball scoop to hollow out the tomatoes, very easy!), bakes for only 10 minutes, and makes a lovely presentation. The uncomplicated preparation suggests additional variations: mushrooms or fennel in the stuffing, rosemary and thyme with or without the basil, and rice or quinoa in place of the couscous. (I used a mixture of brown and white rice to make a gluten-free version for my husband.) - Apple Annie —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup plain cous cous
  • 2 beefy heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 large summer squash, grated
  • 1 bunch of rainbow chard, deveined and finely chopped (or) 2 cups packe spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 spring onion, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups micro basil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons chevre cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium sized pot, bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup of cous cous to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer uncovered for 8 minutes. Check frequently that the cous cous is not sticking to the bottom of the pan, stirring when necessary. Remove from heat, add a little water and olive oil, and let sit covered for 4 minutes.
  2. On low heat, begin to saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. After a few minutes add the chard, squash, olives, basil and pine nuts if you’re using them. Grind in a little salt and pepper. Stir slowly to coat, do not let the contents start to “sizzle.”
  3. Add cous cous to the veggie mixture and stir to coat. Cover and let sit over low heat while you prepare the tomatoes.
  4. To see a demonstration on how to carve out the tomatoes, visit -- shameless advertising :) :)
  5. Bring tomatoes and stuffing to the same work surface, and gently spoon in mix until about 3/4 full. Add a small dollop of the chevre, then add another heaping scoop of the stuffing to fill and cover the top opening.
  6. Sprinkle with fresh basil and a little salt. Bake for 10 minutes at 300 degrees in the middle rack of your oven. Serve immediately, and enjoy, and be happy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Happyolks
  • AppleAnnie
  • Sagegreen
  • JoanG
"Be a lamp or a lifeboat or a ladder..."

6 Reviews

Happyolks April 10, 2011
I'm so sorry that I wasn't able to respond to these comments and questions! I have been out of the country and just reviewed my recipes on Food52 now! I will fix the ingredient list now, a little confusing I'd agree. Apple Annie, Thank you so much for featuring the recipe as an editors pick!
AppleAnnie August 7, 2010
Two technical questions, do you add the grated squash in along with the chard and olives? Also, how many pine nuts do you recommend, they aren't in the ingredients list. Thanks for your help, I am looking forward to trying this recipe intriguing recipe!
AppleAnnie August 7, 2010
I found the answers to my questions by checking the version of this recipe on your Happyyolks website, the grated squash is added along with the chard, and the optional pine nuts are 1/4 cup. What a great video you made for this recipe!
Sagegreen July 28, 2010
I really appreciate your ingredient mix, too. I have done stuffed fresh tomatoes as an appetizer and stuffed peppers for an entree, but had neglected baking a stuffed tomato. Great idea!
JoanG July 27, 2010
I love the mix of ingredients. Will try this with quinoa. Can I use minced basil instead of micro basil?
Happyolks July 27, 2010
Joan - most definitely! Those are both excellent alternatives. I considered using quinoa myself (my favorite grain), the cous cous gives it a lighter texture though I think. Let me know how it turns out :)