Baked Tomatoes with Mint and Basil Recipe
4 medium-size firm ripe tomatoes, halved and seeded*
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 to 6 fresh mint leaves, finely shredded
1/2 cup loosely-packed and finely-shredded fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
* Selecting Tomatoes: Select tomatoes that are firm, glossy, smooth, plump, heavy for their size, and free of bruises. Avoid tomatoes that are overly ripe and soft. Fragrance is a better indicator of a good tomato than color. Use your nose and smell the stem end. The stem should retain the garden aroma of the plant itself - if it does not, your tomato will lack flavor and, as far as I am concerned, will be good only for decoration!
Remember - If the tomato smells fresh and tomato-y, they will taste that way too!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place prepared tomatoes, cut side down, on paper towels to drain excess juices.
Using a muffin tin, cover the bottom of the cups to be used with some of the olive oil.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mint, and basil with a few drops of olive oil.
Place tomato halves in muffin cups; sprinkle the salt and pepper over the tomatoes. Divide the herb mixture between the tomatoes, placing the mixture in the tomato cavities. Dribble the tops lightly with remaining olive oil.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and the tops are lightly browned. Remove from oven.
Serve hot alongside meat or fish, or at room temperature as an appetizer.
Makes 4 servings.