Tomatoes with Trahana
Trahana is cracked wheat that has been soaked in fermented milk. Originally it was used to preserve milk when there was excess production of it in summer, but now it's made just because it's so delicious. Although it sounds intense, the flavour of trahana is not overpowering. It's got a nutty, sour flavour that's really comforting. I use it here to stuff tomatoes, this recipe is best eaten on the day as sometimes the trahana dries out, but can be kept for a few days after with no problem. You can buy trahana from Middle Eastern and Greek groceries, you could also use a different grain like rice of couscous if you can't find it anywhere.
TRAHANA STUFFED TOMATOES
10 medium size, ripe but firm tomatoes,
1 cup olive oil
1 red onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 cup sweet Trahana
1 handfull flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 handfull dill, chopped
1 handfull mint, chopped
100g feta, crumbled
Salt and pepper and lemon juice to taste
Start off by preheating your oven to about 160°c. You don't want the temperature to be too hot or your tomatoes will split when you bake them.
Cut the tops off your tomatoes, but don't throw them away. Then use a teaspoon to hollow out their insides. You'll use this pulp in your filling mix, either run a knife through it to chop it into fine pieces, or sometimes I grate the coarser bits.
In a saucepan, sauté your onion in a splash of olive oil until translucent. Then add and sauté off your garlic until in becomes aromatic. Add your trahana and tomato, and cook this out. The trahana will absorb lots of liquid, if mix starts to get dry before the grain is cooked, add olive oil or water. You want to cook the grain until it has stopped absorbing liquid.
Once finished, take off the heat and stir in your chopped herbs, feta and season.
Stuff your tomatoes until full - the grain shouldn't expand too much more but will a little. Put their little hats on and bake until their skin is puckered, for about 20 mins. The longer you cook the tomatoes the sweeter they'll taste, so if you have time you could even put down the temperature and bake them for longer. I serve these at room temperate with garlic yogurt.