Tomatoes with cheese and thyme

Chef Nigel Slater suggests using large, ripe tomatoes such as 'Marmande', 'Brandywine' and 'Costelluto Fiorentino' for this recipe.

He explains, "These are my favoured for stuffing and baking. They are more tender than the big beefsteaks and just the right size to hold pieces of goats’ cheese or a few cherry tomatoes and a spoonful of olive oil. Small soft cheeses with a white bloomy skin are good for this recipe."


Serves 2

4 large, ripe tomatoes
Olive oil
4 or 5 bushy sprigs of thyme
4 small, fresh goat’s cheeses or other small cheese


Achieving the perfect results

  1. Set the oven at 180˚C/gas 4.
  2. Cut a thick slice from the top of each tomato. Using a teaspoon, scoop out enough of the seeds and flesh from each tomato to make room for half a goat’s cheese; don’t add the cheese yet.
  3. Put them snugly in a baking dish. Salt and pepper the inside and add a teaspoon or so of olive oil to each one.
  4. Pull the leaves from the thyme and sprinkle them inside the tomatoes.
  5. Bake the tomatoes for 20 minutes or until they are soft and lightly coloured.
  6. Slice the cheeses in half, if they are small, or in large pieces if they are larger than the diameter of the hollow.
  7. Spoon a little oil from each tomato over the cheese, or add fresh if it has escaped, then return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

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