Shirley Spire, OBE, is co-owner of The Three Chimneys in Skye. She was the head chef for 21 years and remains very active within the business as well as being Chairwoman of the Scottish Food Commission.
In the preamble to the recipe, Shirley shares examples of how investment has been made by some producers to assist the growth of Scottish tomatoes in light of the unfavourable climate. This recipe of Baked Stuffed Tomatoes with Black Pudding brings a hint of the Mediterranean to Scotland using those locally produced ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350F / Gas Mark 4.
- Wash and dry tomatoes leaving the stalk intact. Cut a very small, thin slice from the base of each one to create a flat surface. Slice the top off each tomato, and using a sharp knife and a teaspoon cut around the centre of each tomato, lift out the core, scrape out the seeds and leave the shell upturned on kitchen paper to dry, together with the tomato tops. Retain contents of tomato shell in a bowl together with residual juice.
- Place the black pudding on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes in the preheated oven until sizzling. Remove and leave to cool. Place in a mixing bowl and break up with a fork.
- Chop the onion very finely and cook in two tablespoons of hot olive oil in a frying pan until soft and translucent. Remove and add to the black pudding mix.
- Add the cream cheese and stir together well. No additional seasonings are required.
- Pack the black pudding mix into each tomato shell to just below the rim, keeping the outside and rim clear of mixture and leaving a neat finish. Stand in an ovenproof dish to which one tablespoon of olive oil has been poured. Scatter the herbs over the oil. Sprinkle the surface of the black pudding mixture with breadcrumbs and brush the surface skin of each tomato and top with the last of the olive oil. Balance tomato tops at an angle on each one.
- Place in the oven at 180°C and bake for up to 20 minutes until tomatoes and filling are hot.
Keep warm, ready for serving whole to accompany roast meat, or as a dish in their own right. Great for parties and barbecues, they can be prepared in advance and put into the oven when the meat is roasting.
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