Tomato Dessert Exotica 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Top Tomato 2014 Aug 20, 2014

The fruity, sweet side of tomatoes is highlighted here, with a stuffing that's Middle-Eastern-inspired. The kick of pink peppercorns is a nice and unexpected complement to all the flavors.

Make Ahead: The filled tomatoes can be prepped and held, covered, at room temperature for up to 4 hours.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • 6 beefsteak tomatoes (about 12 ounces each)
  • Whole pink peppercorns
  • Sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup unsalted macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted pecans
  • 4 pitted Medjool dates
  • 5 dried apricots
  • 3 tablespoons dried cherries
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves, finely chopped, plus 6 whole leaves for garnish


Rinse the tomatoes and cut off/discard the tops. Scoop out and dispose of the seeds and pulp from the top half of each tomato.

Crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon; transfer to a small bowl and and a good pinch of salt. Use the mixture to sprinkle over each tomato.

Grease a large, shallow baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with a little butter, then arrange the tomatoes in the dish or on the sheet.

Combine the pistachios, macadamias, pecans, dates, apricots and cherries on a cutting board or in a food processor; coarsely chop, then transfer to a medium bowl.

Heat the honey in a medium nonstick skillet over medium- to medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly caramelized. Add the butter and heat just until melted. Stir in the nut-fruit mixture until to evenly coat.

Stir in the lemon juice and minced mint; remove from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then divide it evenly among the tomatoes, filling them equally.

At this point, the tomatoes can be covered loosely with wax paper and stored at room temperature for up to 4 hours.

Preheat to 300 degrees. Uncover the tomatoes and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Divide among individual dessert bowls or plates; garnish each portion with a mint leaf.

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Recipe Source

From Washington resident Judy Geller.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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