Poached Tomato and Pesto

What better than a table replete with good food, good wine and good friends? Neighbourhood chef Johan van Schalkwyk suggests you start with a quick, easy-to-follow late summer recipe of sun-ripened tomatoes on the vine, stuffed with a cheese, courgette, basil and pine nut pesto, and paired with Drostdy-Hof Sauvignon Blanc. The crisp, zesty wine reflects the tangy tomato flavours, complemented by the creamy, mouth-filling pesto.

  • 4 large vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 200 g mozzarella cheese
  • 1 ℓ vegetable stock
  • 15 ml balsamic vinegar
  • salt
  • black pepper

For the Pesto

  • 6 courgettes, grated
  • 50g pine-nuts, lightly toasted (this can be done in a hot oven for a couple of minutes)
  • 50g parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 30ml basil pesto, home-made or good quality
  • 20g butter
  • 100g goat’s chevre, crumbled

Method

  1. Portion the mozzarella into 30 gram “balls”. Slice the top 2cm off the tomato to make a “lid”. Carefully scoop out the seeds in the rest of the tomato to allow space for the cheese and place the cheese balls inside, trying to not to damage walls and the skins. Replace the lid.
  2. Place the tomatoes in a deep baking tray and pour the vegetable stock around the tomatoes. Add vinegar and season with salt and pepper. If necessary, use some water to ensure the liquid covers two thirds of the tomatoes. Bake in an oven set at 180°C for approximately 40 minutes.
  3. For the pesto, fry the courgettes in a pan with the olive oil and butter until soft. This should take about 3 minutes. Toss in the pine-nuts, Parmesan and basil pesto.
  4. Serve the tomato on the pesto and sprinkle with some goat’s cheese and a glass of Drostdy Hof Sauvignon Blanc

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