Tomatoes are magnificent at the moment, red, plump, juicy, just a joy to eat. The inspiration for this recipe comes from one of my favorites – the caprese salad, and the tangible looming promise of summer. So I thought why not try baked caprese tomatoes? Glad I did, its utterly delicious! These baked tomatoes are versatile, and can be used as a main meal with a crispy fresh salad and some French baguette, or as a side to any meat dish.
- Ripe tomatoes
- Buffalo mozzarella – (It’s best to use a good quality buffalo mozzarella here, the normal “loaf style” mozzarella tends to go rubbery after baking it)
- Basil pesto – I used a store brought one.
- Fresh basil leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Chilli flakes – optional
- Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees C
- Cut the top off the tomato and with a spoon carefully scoop out the inside pulp and pips
- Place on a baking tray
- Line the cavity of the tomato with fresh basil leaves and ½ tsp. of basil pesto
- Place ½ to 1 mozzarella ball in the tomato cavity – depending on size
- Top with a ½ tsp. basil pesto
- Season well with salt and pepper
- Bake in the oven for about 10 -12 minutes, or more, until the mozzarella is melted, bubbly and slightly brown
- Eat immediately
Dee’s notes –
- Use buffalo mozzarella only, the other kind of mozzarella goes rubbery when baked
- Season well
- You can squeeze a bit of store bought balsamic glaze over them, once cooked.
- Add more pesto if you like
- Enjoy as a light summers lunch