Tomatoes are magnificent at the moment; red, plump, juicy, just a joy to eat. The inspiration for this recipe comes from one of my favourites – 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.

Ingredients:

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 variety.

Fresh basil leaves

Salt and pepper

Chilli flakes – optional

Recipe:

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C.

2 Cut the tops off the tomatoes and with a spoon and carefully scoop out the inside pulp and pips.

3 Place tomatoes on a baking tray.

4 Line the cavity of the tomato with fresh basil leaves and ½ tsp. of basil pesto.

5 Place ½ to 1 mozzarella ball in the tomato cavity – depending on size.

6 Top with ½ tsp. basil pesto.

7 Season well with salt and pepper.

8 Bake in the oven for about 10 – 12 minutes, or more, until the mozzarella is melted, bubbly and slightly browned.

9 Eat immediately.