Spiced couscous tomatoes

Choose ripe, well–flavoured tomatoes for this dish. Hollowed out, they make the perfect container for a spicy eggplant, dried apricot and nut couscous. The juices are squeezed out of the scoopedout tomato flesh and seeds, and whisked with a little harissa paste to make a tangy dressing.

Spiced couscous tomatoes


  • 8 large beefsteak tomatoes, about 170 g each
  • salt and pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅔ cup (60 g) flaked almonds
  • 1 small eggplant, about 170 g, cut into 1 cm dice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (250 ml) boiling vegetable stock
  • ⅔ cup (125 g) couscous
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • ⅓ cup (60 g) dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon harissa paste


  1. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the insides using a teaspoon.
  2. Place the hollowed–out tomatoes and cut–off tops on one side.
  3. Put the seeds and scooped–out flesh in a sieve set over a small jug or bowl and press with the back of a spoon to extract the juices; you will need about 4 tablespoons.
  4. Leave the jug of juice on one side and discard the seeds and flesh.
  5. Sprinkle a little salt over the insides of the hollowed–out tomatoes.
  6. Place them upside down on a plate covered with paper towel and leave to drain while making the filling.
  7. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a non–stick saucepan.
  8. Add the flaked almonds and cook over a low heat for 2–3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  10. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the saucepan.
  11. Stir in the eggplant and cook for 5 minutes, turning frequently, until browned and tender.
  12. Stir in the coriander, cumin and cinnamon, and cook for a further few seconds, stirring constantly.
  13. Pour in the stock and bring to a rapid boil, then add the couscous in a steady stream, stirring constantly.
  14. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
  15. Uncover the pan, return to a low heat and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring with a fork to separate the couscous grains and fluff them up.
  16. Stir in the toasted almonds, mint and dried apricots.
  17. Add the harissa paste to the reserved tomato juices and stir to mix, then pour over the couscous.
  18. Season with pepper to taste and mix well.
  19. Spoon the couscous mixture into the tomatoes, replace the tops and serve.

Serves 4
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: about 15 minutes


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