adapted from a recipe in the book Morocco - Mediterranean Cuisine (a compilation of recipes from a dozen chefs)
This preparation of sweet tomatoes invites the fruit, which we commonly employ as a vegetable, to flaunt its fruitiness.
A kemia, or small (cold) appetizer, accompanied by bread. The dish of tomatoes would then remain on the table as a condiment for a main course (such as a tagine of chicken with onions, cinnamon, & ginger). I have found that they also pair very well with creamy soft cheeses, such as fromage blanc, making for an unusual and delicious cheese course.
Choose tomatoes of medium size; firm and not too juicy. The tomatoes should still be fleshy after removing the skin & seeds.
2 1⁄4 pounds tomatoes
1⁄2 tsp. fine salt
2 pinches saffron threads
5 or 6 cinnamon sticks
2 1⁄4 cups sugar
7 Tbsp. orange flower water
4/5 cup peanut oil
- With a paring knife, cut out the core of the tomato at the stem end. Do not cut deeply, just enough to remove the core. Cut a shallow X at the base of the tomato. Plunge the tomato into a pot of boiling water. When the skin loosens, remove the tomato from the water with a skimmer or slotted spoon. Immediately place the tomato into a container of iced water. Repeat with remaining tomatoes. Gently peel away the skins of the tomatoes, using a paring knife to facilitate peeling if necessary.
- Halve all the tomatoes vertically. Remove the seeds. Place the hollowed out tomatoes in a baking dish, cut side up.
- Distribute the salt, saffron threads, & cinnamon sticks over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with sugar, then spoon on the orange flower water. Lastly, drizzle the peanut oil over the tomatoes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes. Allow the tomatoes to cool in the liquid. Serve hot or cold. They will keep, refrigerated, for 3 or 4 days.
Recipe from Chef Kathryn Yeomans, The Farmer's Feast http://thefarmersfeast.wordpress.com/