My lovely mother in law is solely responsible for my slight obsession with stuffed tomatoes. I love tomatoes in all shapes and forms, but it wasn’t until the meeting of the “respective families” during the Greek Easter festivities after our engagement that I was first introduced to the sweet, melting-ness of the stuffed tomato. After tasting Mrs K’s scrumptious stuffed tomatoes (well, maybe not so much “tasting” but politely eating about four of them!!!) I was hooked. Since that fateful day, my radar has been finely tuned for any prospect of stuffed tomatoes. When popping around for a quick Sunday lunch to Mrs K's, I find myself taking in the breeze, hoping for the delightful waft of stuffed tomatoes emanating from the kitchen window.
Mrs K has kindly shared her recipe for stuffed tomatoes with me. As with all home style Greek cooking, perfecting classic dishes comes with time, experience and dedication. I’m sorry to say that my version of stuffed tomatoes, despite all efforts, is a pale imitator of Mrs K’s. Nonetheless, I persist.
Away from our own kitchen, the stuffed tomato has become the barometer for my list of “tavernas to visit again” when traveling Greece. By far the best stuffed tomatoes I have had are always to be found in the market tavernas. On a recent trip to Chania in Crete, the market taverna that we visited served their stuffed tomatoes (absolutely enormous tomatoes) with two generous dollops of thick tangy Greek yoghurt. The stuffed tomato and yoghurt combination was truly delicious, and well matched with a chunk of home-style bread and a cooling tumbler of chilled local red wine. The tavernas of the Central Market in Athens are also not to be missed and do not disappoint. If your enthusiasm for Greek cuisine shines through – the chef will even give you a guided tour of his little kitchen and a detailed description of the recipes for each dish, including, you guessed it, the stuffed tomatoes. God bless Hellas, I say and it’s love of the tomato!!