Sunday, August 21, 2011

Roasted Tomatoes with Pesto

Tomatoes fresh from the garden (or farmer's market) are my favorite summer treat. Just give me some coarse sea salt and a wad of paper towel and I'm in tomato heaven. With start of school right around the corner, comes the reminder that the summer produce season is quickly coming to the end. This is one of those recipes you can make in the dead of winter even with the less than flavorful tomatoes found at your local market. Roasting your tomatoes will improve their flavor and keeping a stock of Basil Pesto Pesto in your freezer will provide a little taste of the warmer weather to come. Since tomatoes are still in season I used some gorgeous beefsteak tomatoes I found at the farmer's market and served them alongside Roasted Asparagus and Green Bean Salad.

Roasted Tomatoes with Pesto
recipe courtesy of Ina Garten

6 large red tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Basil Pesto
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Core the tomatoes and then slice them across in ¼ inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a sheet pan. Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and sprinkle with the oregano, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and the pepper.

Bake the tomatoes for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven, spread each slice with pesto, and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Return the tomatoes to the oven and continue baking for 10 minutes, until the Parmesan is melted and begins to brown. Using a flat metal spatula, put the tomatoes on a serving platter, sprinkle with extra salt, and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.