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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Italian Baked Tomatoes

For nine or 10 months of the year, grocery store tomatoes are sorry things intended only to provide a bit of color – and not much color at that. But with the peak of summer comes tomatoes that really have flavor. There’s as much art as science in choosing a great tomato. There are a few basics: you don’t want any obvious damage to the skin; you don’t want to feel any particular mushy spots (as opposed to a general softness); you want a tomato that’s heavy for its size. Beyond that, tomatoes are so diverse in color, shape and texture, the main thing to go by is perfume. All tomatoes, whatever the hue, should smell wonderful. To store your wonderful tomatoes do NOT refrigerate. Ever. The flavor and aroma of a tomato will never recover from being refrigerated. On the other hand, store a tomato that is under-ripe at room temperature and it will continue to ripen and improve. There are so many incredible ways to prepare these tasty vegetables, I choose to make some Italian Baked Tomatoes. Ingredients: 4 tomatoes, halved 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 oz reduced fat provolone cheese, shredded or Mozzarella 1 tsp chopped fresh basil 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano Salt to taste Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450° F. Place tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet. Top with Parmesan, provolone, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes

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