I have made many versions of stuffed tomatoes over the years and mostly when I make Greek dishes, but this recipe with the almond and spinach filling is definitely the best I have ever tasted.  All thanks to Michelin star chef,  Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, a fellow South African as well.

In the world we live in today, it is impossible to ignore vegetarian or vegan dishes and although I am not one myself, I am happy to try new recipes and have at least 2-3 days a week of meatless meals.

This recipe has been adapted from the original recipe and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Bon appetite!

You’ll need

  • 60g x almonds
  • 6 x beef or large tomatoes
  • 80g x basmati rice, uncooked (The easiest is to cook 1 x boil-in-bag rice packet)
  • 18 x cherry tomatoes
  • 1 x garlic clove
  • 1 Tbsp x lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 Tbsp x apple cider vinegar
  • 80ml x water + bit more if necessary
  • 400g x baby spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let the almonds soak for 2 hours or in cold water overnight.
  2. Heat the oven to 100 °C. Halve the cherry tomatoes and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Slow-roast them in the oven for 1 hour. When done, remove from the oven and set aside until needed.
  3. Back to the almonds. After 2 hours, remove the skins on the almonds. (They usually slide off easy but don't fuss too much with a few that don't come off, it makes no difference to the dish)
  4. Place the the almonds in a food processor, add the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar and water. Blitz until smooth and creamy. (You might have to add a bit more water to get a smooth peanut butter consistency)
  5. Season the almond cream with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package, drain and set aside.
  7. Heat the oven to 180 °C.
  8. Gently remove the stem and leafy bits attached to the tomatoes and set aside to use as garnish later.
  9. Slice off the top of each large tomato and scoop the flesh out with a teaspoon. (I chop up the tops and freeze it with the flesh for another recipe)
  10. Rinse the spinach in a colander. Heat a non-stick frying pan and let the spinach wilt in the pan. Add the almond cream to the wilted spinach and let it cook for 1 minute.
  11. First, divide the rice into the hollowed-out tomatoes.
  12. Place the tomatoes on a lined baking tray.
  13. Spoon the spinach filling on top of the rice and place in the oven. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes. (I actually find it easier and less messy to place the spinach/almond filling in a piping bag)
  14. Remove from the oven and arrange 3 cherry tomato halves on top of each tomato.
  15. Place the stems and leafy bits you removed earlier in the centre of each tomato.
  16. Serve warm.

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