Take some fresh beefsteak tomatoes, hollow them out and fill them with delicious savory couscous, goat cheese, veggies, and panko crumbs, and roast for a light and delicious lunchtime treat!
As much as I’m ready to usher in fall weather, I’m not ready to give up this amazing season of fresh and delicious summer produce. My garden is in full swing and we’re bringing in tomatoes and herbs by the hands full, and I’m anxiously waiting for my broccoli and cauliflower to be ready to bring in and cook, for my potatoes to be ready to dig up, and for my pumpkin vines to start bearing fruit.
It’s been an absolute blessing to be home from spring until now just so I can enjoy my garden in all its seasons. So many days, I got up and left just as the sun was coming up and got home just as it was going down, or in winter months, didn’t even see my house in the daylight except for weekends. The garden was something that might have gotten started, but got neglected and I missed harvesting a lot of the things that were ripe and ready. Now I can give myself a lunch break outside or get up between meetings and walk outside to water and fertilize and tend and harvest, and it is so good for the soul.
Things I’m really considering as Scott and I start considering our next phase of life. I hit twenty years in the Army next summer, and while my boss is going to great lengths to convince me to stay, my heart is pulling me toward a second career.
And when I’m thinking about that career, I’m thinking about how to make sure I have time for the garden, time to teach my son about tending for living things and appreciating the hard work that goes into a harvest, and for experimenting with delicious recipes to share with family and friends.
I’ve loved the chance I’ve had to experiment with food also while I’ve been home. I’ve lost count of how many days it’s been, but I think we’re going on twenty six weeks of teleworking and staying at home, and we haven’t been out to a restaurant once. I brought home Starbucks after visiting the store exactly twice. We haven’t had take out or delivery anything. It’s just been me, and on occasion Scott, noodling around in the kitchen and enjoying.
It’s not a hardship at all. I love it. I love putting on my music, pouring a glass of sweet tea or a glass of wine depending on the time of day, and experimenting with whatever recipe has tickled my imagination. Like these herbed couscous and goat cheese stuffed tomatoes.
When my family and I were in Athens for a conference, probably ten years ago now, we had a lot of roast tomato dishes similar to this. There were always fresh and delicious roasted tomatoes, either laden with cheese or topped with eggs, or stuffed like these.
They’re fresh and delicious and packed with flavor but also not so heavy that you feel like taking a nap afterward. I’m finding that’s more and more important for lunches while working at home – because some of the things I’ve made have made next to useless for afternoon meetings despite my clutching a large cup of coffee. These stuffed tomatoes strike a perfect balance.
Try them out for yourself!
Herbed Couscous + Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes
- September 7, 2020
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- 4 large fresh tomatoes
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- fresh parsley, finely chopped
- fresh green onion, finely chopped
- fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 10-15 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 5 oz goat cheese
- panko crumbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- Step 1
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Step 2
- Slice the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds and insides (you can keep these for use in soups). Arrange in a shallow roasting dish and brush a little olive oil on the insides of the tomatoes.
- Step 3
- Place the couscous in a large bowl, and drizzle olive oil over the top. In a large pot, heat the chicken stock until steaming, and then pour over the couscous. Stir and cover the bowl, and let the couscous steam for about 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the couscous.
- Step 4
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat and add the crushed garlic. Fry gently for about 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant, and add the mushrooms. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender.
- Step 5
- Stir the mushrooms, herbs, and olives into the couscous. Crumble about 3/4 of the goat cheese into the couscous mixture and stir together.
- Step 6
- Divide the mixture between the tomatoes. Crumble the remaining goat cheese on top and sprinkle lightly with panko crumbs. Drizzle a little more olive oil over the top of each tomato.
- Step 7
- Roast the tomatoes at 350F for 15-20 minutes, or until the tomatoes soften and the panko crumbs are crisp and golden. Chop some fresh parsley over the top of the tomatoes and serve warm and enjoy!
I’ve made this couscous mixture separately and served it up as a side dish, and both Scott and Marcus go head first into it. There’s something about the combination of roasted veggies, buttery couscous, and goat cheese that just makes your tastebuds crave more!
Wishing you all a great start to your week!