NOTE: I’d abandoned this blog for a year, and came back to this gem saved in my drafts. I still make this all of the time (and am currently working through another package of basil).
I really love cooking with basil, but I always end up having to buy a big container when I only need a little bit. My mission this week is to use my package of basil before it goes bad. Last night I had a ton of work to do, and hadn’t even gotten around to cooking dinner. Then I realized I had a bunch of tomatoes from a friend’s garden in my fridge. Perfect!
Here’s how you make this super easy snack/appetizer/meal:
Cut up as many tomatoes as you want to eat into wedges. You can seed them if you like. I always seed half of mine in case some people like the seeds.
Place a small piece of basil on each tomato. The size will depend on how much you like the taste of basil. If you use the size above, it will be a moderately strong taste.
Drizzle olive (or vegetable) oil over the tomatoes.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper if you like (I use crushed red peppers) for some spice.
Put as much cheese on as you want. The cheese will get a bit crunchy and taste amazing. All I had last night was shredded colby jack. I also sprinkled some parmesan on it.
Cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. They will shrivel up the longer you leave them in. If you want firmer tomatoes then only leave in for 30 minutes.
That’s it! Simple, easy and perfect for an appetizer or dinner (if you’re a vegetarian like me). Pro: tomatoes are super high in vitamin C; the same amount as an orange.
Messiness – Possibly the cleanest thing you’ll ever make.
Simplicity – All you’re doing is chopping tomatoes and sprinkling cheese.
Budget – You most likely have cheese in your house so all oyu need is basil and tomatoes (Fresh and Easy has AMAZING deals on tomatoes right now).
Delicious Factor – These tomatoes, despite looking shriveled, come out of the oven incredibly juicy and the melted cheese is crunchy around them. The two factors together are the perfect storm of flavor. It tastes almost like a pizza without the bread. 4/5 (I really like bread)