If you can’t beat the weather then embrace the warm comforts of the kitchen! The following two recipes are designed to bring a little warmth into February. The stuffed tomatoes go really well with a little cool and tangy feta on the side and can easily be made vegetarian by removing the meat. The roasted honey figs are lovely for breakfast or dessert.
Tomates Gemistes (Stuffed tomatoes)
6 beef tomatoes
4 tbsp olive oil
4 shallots or 1 Spanish onion
2 cloves of garlic
200g minced lamb
2 tbsp tomato puree
50g risotto rice
100ml chicken stock
Handful of chopped parsley
6 mint leaves
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp oregano
1tbsp toasted pine nuts
½ stick of cinnamon
Rind and juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to season
1. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and gently remove the pulp. Keep any juice to one side. Then chop up the pulp into cubes. Place a leaf of mint at the bottom of each tomato.
2. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the chopped shallots and garlic. Stir gently for 5 minutes. Now add the mince and stir until it has broken up and combined with the mixture.
3. Add the tomato puree, chicken stock, the juice and the pulp of the tomatoes, all the herbs, the cinnamon stick and the rind of a lemon. Mix.
4. Season with salt and pepper and cook slowly for 5 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C.
6. Add the rice to the mix and gently simmer for 20 more minutes.
7. Leave to cool, then stir in the pine nuts before proceeding to fill the tomatoes. Then put the lids back on. Cover with lemon juice and olive oil.
8. Put them in the oven for 40 minutes at 180C.
9. Serve with some feta cheese and psomi (bread) to mop up the juices. It goes really well.
Roasted Honey Figs
6-10 fresh figs
Juice and rind of one lemon
3 tbsp Greek honey
1 tbsp of pistachio nuts or/and chopped walnuts
Total Greek yogurt
1. Halve the figs and place in a roasting tin.
2. Preheat the oven at 180C.
3. Scatter lemon rind in-between the halves and onto the baking tray, then squeeze the juice of the lemon over them and drizzle all over with honey.
4. Cook gently in the oven at 180C for about 20 minutes.
5. Take out and scattered the nuts on top.
6. Serve warm with a generous dollop of Greek yogurt. You could ask some other fruits such as mixed berries or sprinkle with nuts if you wish.