Stuffed Tomatoes

Ducasse serves these with the roast chicken, but they are mind-boggling served just by themselves as a first or vegetable course. Of course, you have to have the “confit” or concentrated tomatoes first.

When Ducasse serves these with the chicken, he adds a few croutons rubbed with garlic and pan-fried in olive oil, and often adds other vegetables like artichokes cooked whole “barigoule” style (Philippe Boulot’s version of barigoule), then stuffed with olive tapenade and braised with the stuffed tomatoes in the oven.

Ingredients

  • 8 ripe red tomatoes, 2 to 3 inches in diameter
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 small white onions, finely chopped
  • 4 Baked Tomatoes Confit, chopped in ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons roasted chicken juices or reduced rich chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, cut in 1-inch lengths

Method

Cut the tops of 4 of the tomatoes about ⅓ the way down from the stem. Save the tops. Scoop out the interiors, salt and pepper the empty cavities, and turn the tomatoes upside down on a baking sheet to drain out excess water. This way you will get a more solid tomato and prevent excess liquid from exuding into the stuffing.

Plunge the remaining tomatoes momentarily into boiling water and then into iced water to loosen the skins. Remove the skins, cut the tomatoes in quarters, and remove the seeds.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in an ovenproof skillet with the garlic cloves. Add the seeded tomato quarters, the rosemary, and the thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the oven and bake until the tomatoes are reduced to a marmalade appearance, about 20 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Remove and discard the garlic cloves, rosemary, and thyme. Mix the chopped onions into the tomato jam. Put in a sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook, covered, over low heat for 10 minutes.

Put the tomatoes confit in a bowl with the parsley, Parmesan cheese, basil, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Stir in the tomato-onion jam. Season with salt and pepper.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F

Stuff the drained tomatoes with the tomato marmlade mixture, put the cut tops back on each tomato, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and place in a gratin dish just large enough to hold them. Bake for 30 minutes. Drizzle regularly with more olive oil and the roasted chicken juices.

Serve the stuffed tomatoes on a plate by themselves or with roasted chicken, and pour the pan juices over them. Add a little freshly ground pepper and sprinkle with the chives.