Tomatoes are a staple across many cultures with numerous varieties, from beefsteak and Roma plum, cocktail, green and Heirloom (to name but a few). These are all suitable for different dishes around the world. The tomato plant is actually a fruit, though we commonly treat it as a vegetable to make many dishes from the base, such as fresh raw Spanish Gazpacho, the world famous Margherita pizza and of course classic tomato ketchup. I like to eat fresh tomatoes in season simply dressed with a little lemon juice, the best olive oil you can get your hands on, sea salt and fresh torn basil leaves - very simple yet beautiful.
Heat the oil over high heat in a flameproof casserole then fry
the mince until well-browned then set aside.
Add a little more oil with onions and garlic to the same dish
and soften over medium heat (this will take 5 to 6 minutes).
Add a pinch of sugar, the vinegar and chilli pepper flakes then
cook for a few minutes.
Next add chopped tomatoes and stock then simmer for 5
Add the lamb to the sauce, cover with a lid and simmer gently
for 45 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce rich. Remove
from heat and fold through a little breadcrumbs at a time until you
have a good thick sauce.
For the spiced crumb simply mix together the crumbs with
za'atar, a pinch of sea salt and drizzle of olive oil.
Preheat your oven to 200°C /180°C fan assisted (gas 5).
Spoon the mince into the scooped out tomatoes, top with the
seasoned breadcrumbs, then bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes
until the crumbs are golden and the filling piping hot.
Serve the tomatoes piping hot alongside baked feta cheese with
a drizzle of honey and dusted with Arabica Dukkah, flatbreads and a
glass of chilled Rose from Provence.
Note: any left over mince can be used to stuff tomatoes for a
quick and simple lunch. We also topped with sliced mozzarella
instead of the breadcrumbs which is a lovely alternative.