|Kumatoes are known for their dark flesh and big flavor. Stuffed with couscous? Even better.|
I usually purchase local produce out of principle. But last week, a carton of imported, dark-fleshed kumatoes beckoned to me from the grocery aisle. They look like tomatoes with a suntan. I had never tried them, so I answered the produce sirens' call. Instead of the usual wallpaper paste flavor and texture of packaged tomatoes, one sweet bite rocket-blasted me back to my childhood tomatoes. Yes, they came all the way from Mexico, but the kumatoes tasted so delicious that honestly, I'd buy them again. [What can I say? I'm human.]
I probably could have eaten the entire carton unadorned in just one sitting. But the deep, burnished red fruits were so pretty that they begged to be transformed into something special. So I decided to stuff these little beauties with an Israeli couscous pilaf, flavored with typical Mediterranean seasonings – just the dose of sunshine this chilly Philly girl needed.
|Serve the couscous pilaf as a side, or stuff any vegetable you like with it.|
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Tomatoes Stuffed with Israeli Couscous Pilaf
- 1/2 cup Israeli couscous, dry
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 4 tomatoes [Try kumatoes, if you can]
- 3 kale leaves, very finely chopped
- 1 tsp flax or olive oil
- 1 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 T slivered, toasted almonds [Optional]
Serves 4 as a side
Cook couscous in vegetable broth al dente according to package directions. [Save vegetable broth when draining and reserve for soup or another use.]
Slice tops from tomatoes. Carefully scoop out middles, leaving about 1/4-inch tomato "wall" and turn upside-down to drain. Dice middles and tops, and set aside. Don't worry about the seeds.
Mix remaining ingredients, except almonds, in a casserole dish. Toss gently with the drained couscous and let sit for an hour or so in the refrigerator so the flavors can meld and infuse and "cook" the raw kale.
With a teaspoon, stuff each tomato with the couscous. Top with slivered almonds, if desired.