Let’s get serious about tomatoes.

They’re often placed in the vegetable category, yet they never assume themselves to be anything but who they are – a savory member of the sweet family.

They can mix with either side. And mix they do, they love to paired with unique and creative ingredients to give your tastebuds a kick.

In simple terms they are a chameleon.
They can make a simple dough into something delicious. Pasta into a slippery companion. A sandwich that much more delectable.

Tomatoes can add zing, tang or juice to a variety of meals just by being themselves.

They love to be tested - grilled, baked, pureed.
Even stuffed.
Its always a good day when you get to use them in a meal and a little experimentation in the kitchen is what the recipe below is from.
Note: I wanted this to be vegan but adding a little cheese to the below mixture for non vegans would add a little creaminess to the bite of the barley and apple.
Barley Stuffed Tomatoes
Serves 4
4 tomatoes, tops removed
3 tablespoons of barley
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 scallions, whites chopped
Large handful of almonds, finely chopped
Small sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
Handful of basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 apple, finely sliced

Prepare the tomatoes by scooping out the centre’s and setting aside. Preheat the oven to 120°C/250F. Place the barley in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat until soft. Set aside in a small bowl.

A little nuts missing
Next place the onion and scallions in a saucepan with a tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. When soft and cook add the almonds. Once these are slightly brown add the rosemary and basil and cook for a further minute until you can smell the herbs.

Toss the cooked mixture with the barley and add the apple, mixing until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stuff the tomatoes and pour a little olive oil over each.

Bake in the oven for approximately 12 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft to the touch.

Serve as a starter or with some lightly cooked fresh fish.

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