Special Side Dish for a Picnic: Baked Pesto Tomatoes
These little baked tomatoes taste like pizza, minus the crust! They are incredibly good served warm or at room temperature, and they are comparatively inexpensive to make, especially if you have fresh tomatoes on hand. The tomatoes come out of the oven warm, soft, and oozing the unique aroma of basil and tomato. A light dusting of Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs provides golden brown color as well as a tasty crunch on top. Best of all, these Pesto Tomatoes take only a few minutes to prepare. Try them for a picnic, dinner on the deck or patio, or the next time you're looking for something outside the usual vegetable rotation.
Baked Pesto Tomatoes -- Serves 4
4-5 medium-large tomatoes, washed and cored
4-5 teaspoons of basil pesto
1 cup of soft fresh breadcrumbs (1-2 large slices)
4-5 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line the sheet with aluminum foil and spray the foil. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise (through the equators) and place the halves cut side up on the baking sheet. Cut a tiny piece off the ends of the tomato halves that have pointy ends to help them stay flat on the baking sheet. Divide the pesto among the halves and spread it out around the tops of the tomatoes. Sprinkle each half with some of the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake the tomatoes for about 30 minutes or until hot and golden brown.