Tomato Party!

A fresh tomato is a truly beautiful and delicious thing.  I love to simply eat them sliced, perhaps with a bit of sliced basil and fresh ground pepper on top, or to pick a cherry tomato and pop it in my mouth straight from the vine.  This is one of the sweetest things that nature has to offer.  One of my favorite dishes to make with fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs is Ottolenghi’s Tomato Party.

This recipe utilizes many different kinds of tomatoes, including green tomatoes, red and yellow cherry tomatoes and vine-ripened tomatoes.  Some are roasted, some are raw, and the combination of flavors between the tomatoes, fresh garlic, oregano, mint and tarragon are divine, and only seem to get better with time.

The combination of couscous and Israeli couscous in this dish is one that I throughly enjoy.  It is something that I have started using in other dishes, because it is much easier to eat than plain couscous since the couscous clings to the Israeli couscous.  This dish could easily be turned into a meal by adding a protein (cheese, grilled chicken or tofu).

Tomato Party

Adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
3/4 cups couscous
olive oil
1 1/4 cups Israeli couscous
2 1/2 to 3 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced in quarters or eights 
3/4 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 
1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 Tablespoons oregano, chopped
2 Tablespoons tarragon, chopped
3 Tablespoons mint, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green tomato, sliced into slivers
1 pint red cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place couscous in a pan with 2/3 cups boiling water, remove from heat, add a pinch of salt, a drizzle of olive oil, and cover.
  3. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add the Israeli couscous, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil, and simmer for about 18 minutes.  Once cooked, drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.
  4. Lay out the sliced vine ripened tomatoes on one half of a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes or until they begin to soften.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees and spread the yellow cherry tomatoes over the other half of the baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and return to the oven for another 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Once everything has cooled slightly, mix the couscous, Israeli couscous, cooked tomatoes with their juices, green tomatoes, red cherry tomatoes and herbs together in a large bowl.  Taste and season with salt, pepper, or olive oil as necessary.

Makes about 8 servings.


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