Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes

Adapted from Super Natural Every Day

Gorgeous, ripe summer tomatoes produce the best results with this dish. I chose large ones and served this as a main course with a side of soup. They would also go nicely with a crusty bread and some cheese – green salad and glass of chilled white wine optional.

  • 4 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon harissa (see tips)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat regular or Israeli (pearl) couscous (see tips)
  • 12 large basil leaves, chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat the bottom of a baking dish large enough to accommodate the tomatoes in one layer with olive oil.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the tops off the tomatoes, taking care to fully remove the stem and leaving a flat top. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh from the tomato and place the juice, pulp and seeds into a bowl. Take care not to pierce the wall of the tomato. Arrange the tomato shells in the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • To make the filling, combine 2/3 cup of the tomato juice and pulp with the yogurt, harissa, olive oil, garlic cloves, shallot, salt, couscous and most of the basil leaves. Reserve some of the basil leaves for garnish. Taste the mixture for seasoning, adding salt or additional harissa if you’d like more spice.
  • Use a spoon to stuff each tomato shell with the yogurt-couscous mixture. You should have just enough to stuff each shell to the rim.
  • Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the couscous is fully cooked and the tomatoes have started to wrinkle and brown around the edges. Remove from the oven.
  • To serve, drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and top with the remaining chopped basil.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. Harissa is a North African hot chili sauce made of a blend of various types of chili peppers, garlic, oil and sometimes traditional regional spices such as cumin or coriander. It varies a bit in terms of heat, so it’s a good idea to taste a little beforehand to determine how spicy it is. I found it in the grocery store near the middle Eastern spreads, such as hummus and baba ghannouj.
  • 2. I used Israeli couscous for this recipe, but I have a feeling that regular couscous would cook a bit more evenly. The tops of mine were just a little crunchy due to the larger, coarse grains of the Israeli variety. Heidi’s original recipe called for regular couscous and now I can see why. With that said, I do like the texture of the heartier pearl couscous. I might next time consider cooking it for a few minutes before combining it with the yogurt mixture. Word has it that Bob’s Red Mill has a whole wheat Israeli couscous on the market now. I could not find this brand specifically at my local grocery, but I found another brand in the aisle with the rice, beans and grains.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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