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Stuffed Tomato Salad

ingredients

4 large firm tomatoes
salt

for the stuffing

1/2 small tomato
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp chopped pimento
1/2 clove of garlic
1 1/2 tsp chopped ham
salt and pepper
2 eggs
2 tbsp butter

for other stuffing #1

75 g cottage cheese with chives
1/2 clove of garlic
salt
white or Cayenne pepper

for other stuffing #2

2 hard-boiled eggs
1 small gherkin
2 tsp chopped onion
salt and pepper
mayonnaise

for other stuffing #3

100 g peeled prawns or shrimps
2 - 3 young lettuce leaves or leaves from a lettuce heart
salt and pepper
a few drops Tabasco sauce
mayonnaise

method

1. Cut the tops off the tomatoes, and remove the cores, seeds, and juice with a small spoon, leaving a firm cup of skin and flesh. Keep the tops if desired. (The cores and juice can be sieved for use in a sauce or added to tomato juice.)

2. Sprinkle the tomato cups inside with salt, and turn upside-down on a plate to drain for 30 minutes. Fill with the stuffing.

3. Remove the stalks from the tops and replace them on the stuffed tomatoes if desired. Serve the tomatoes on a bed of lettuce leaves.

to make the stuffing

1. Skin, de-seed, and chop the tomato.

2. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and pimento, and simmer, covered, for a few minutes until they soften.

3. Meanwhile, crush the garlic. Add it to the pan with the chopped ham and tomato, and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has evaporated.

4. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool.

5. Scramble the eggs in the butter. Leave to cool under buttered paper. When cold, mix with the onion and pimento mixture.

to make other stuffing #1

1. Drain any free liquid from the cheese.

2. Crush the garlic, and mix it thoroughly with the cheese, adding salt to taste, and either white pepper or a few grains of Cayenne pepper for a hotter flavour.

to make other stuffing #2

1. Chop the hard-boiled eggs and gherkin.

2. Mix with the onion, season to taste, and moisten with mayonnaise.

to make other stuffing #3

1. Chop the prawns or shrimps.

2. Shred the lettuce leaves. Sprinkle both with salt and pepper.

3. Mix the Tabasco sauce into 2 tsp mayonnaise; then add just enough extra mayonnaise to bind the shellfish mixture.

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