This year my garden produced more cherry tomatoes than ever before so when I saw a recipe for cherry tomatoes in a co-workers magazine it caught my eye. The original recipe called for mint rather than basil, but I have fresh basil growing and decided I would prefer the flavor of basil rather than mint with tomatoes. The recipe also called for goat cheese as an optional addition rather than the parmesan I used.
It is best to use tomatoes of the same size so that they finish baking at the same time.
Slow-Baked Tomato, Garlic and Basil
adapted from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe
1 1/2 pounds cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
7 cloves garlic, peeled and split lengthwise
1 bunch fresh basil, trimmed
1 to 2 teaspoons coarse or flake salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Toasted slices of ciabatta (or similar) bread
Fresh sliced parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Wash and drain tomatoes well. Pat dry with paper towels. In a non-metal 2-quart baking dish place tomatoes in a single layer. Pour olive oil over so that they are well coated and there is a thin layer of oil on bottom of dish. Toss in garlic, basil, salt and pepper.
Bake uncovered, for 45 to 60 minutes or until skins split and soften but tomatoes still retain their shape.
Serve hot, warm or at room temperture. Spoon or mash over slices of toasted bread and serve with a slice of parmesan cheese if using.
Makes 8 servings.