From the archives – A quick and easy side dish for back to school season. Sure to put a smile on the face of any tomato lover.
Tomatoes pack a huge amount of flavor into a very small package. so much so that there is not much need to “guild the lily”, to turn a phrase. I made this dish as a side for the tomato glazed chicken we had the other night, but then had to make it again yesterday as a light lunch for myself.
The flavors are more than enough to stand up to being the main course in a light, healthy summertime meal, but if you’re in the mood for something a bit more substantial, just add a few greens and a basil vinaigrette for a wonderful baked tomato salad. How about using these little gems on your next burger?
I used a mix of Colby and Monterey Jack because that’s what I happened to have lying about, but there’s no reason that you need to use those particular cheeses. If you don’t like Colby and Jack on your tomato, use what you like, this is the perfect vehicle for experimentation! Use some goat cheese and thyme instead for a bit more of a Greek flavor. Try some pecorino or Asiago. How about a little Muenster with a bit of fresh oregano or sage? The choices are yours. Please use this recipe as a guideline and create something wonderful with it!
- Several Roma tomatoes (or the tomato of your choice.. Go big! Go small!)
- Enough cheese to cover tomato slices
- 2-4 basil leaves, cut into ribbons (a chiffonade)
- A few drizzles of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Slice tomatoes into rings about 3/4? thick and arrange on a baking sheet lined with foil or silpat (for easy clean up.)
Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil. Top each with enough cheese to cover. Bake for approximately 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. (This will not apply with feta, which will simply soften and turn golden).
Remove from heat, arrange on serving plates and top with basil. Season with salt and pepper. Add another tiny drizzle of olive oil if desired.
Serve warm and enjoy!
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
I can think of many different methods for this, but nothing that I would have done differently. It was simply superb!
I think the next time I do this, I’ll use beefsteak tomatoes or heirlooms and Grill them! Yeah!