Friday, June 4, 2010

aunty esabel tomatoes

this is a recipe based on an appetizer my aunt served without fail at every thanksgiving. it's very simple, but it's the kind of thing that my sister and i would await in anticipation for months. that was before i knew my way around the kitchen...

feta stuffed cherry tomatoes:

1/2 lb feta (i use french, but greek would also work well)
2 tablespoons chopped green onion, green and white parts (about 1 bulb)
1/2 tsp ground paprika
2 tablespoons zaatar (look for a blend that does not contain salt, but if you can't find one, a salted one will do)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons flat leaf or italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
cherry tomatoes

(this filling will stuff several tomatoes, probably around 50, so feel free to make only a fraction of it)

combine all ingredients except tomatoes in a bowl and mix well, it should appear relatively creamy. test the mixture and make any alterations at this point. keep in mind that the tomatoes will not be salted, so if the feta mixture is a bit salty, it's okay.
take the tomatoes and remove their tops and seeds. i make a circular incision to the tops and then scooped out the seeds with the smallest teaspoon i have (1/8), then used the same spoon to stuff the tomatoes with the feta mixture.
serve with bunches of parsley or sprinkled with roughly chopped parsley leaves.


missvera said...

what is zaatar? and can you tell me where one might find it?

ck said...

zaatar is a blend usually made of roasted thyme, sumac, sesame seeds, and sometimes salt. its most common use is in manna-eesh (that's how it would be pronounced, don't know how it's spelled in english), which is dough shaped into disks and baked with a zaatar/olive oil blend on top. you may have tried these before, my mom used to make them a lot, and they usually leave presents between your teeth. you can find zaatar at any middle eastern shop and probably at any asian or indian food stores that carry middle eastern goods as well. however, if you really can't find it, i would substitute 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme, 1/2 tsp sumac, and 1/2 tsp sesame seeds.

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