Herbed Spiced Tomatoes
Use your fresh CSA tomatoes to make this delicious yet simple dish. The flavor and juices of the tomatoes combines perfectly with the herbs. We have plenty of fresh tomatoes from the farm right now, included in your weekly CSA share and also more available in our online store (so feel free to add more to your order!). Lots of heirloom tomatoes are still pouring in plus other varieties such as the red sandwich , red slicing tomatoes, and more.
6 medium-size summer tomatoes — somewhere between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball
4 tablespoons olive oil (best possible), plus more for the pan
2 tablespoons chopped green or summer garlic, or 1 tablespoon chopped regular garlic
4 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh cilantro, stems included
2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh Thai basil, leaves only
Cut the tomatoes across their horizontal equators, and over the sink, scoop out some of their seeds and juice without completely disemboweling them.
Heat a cast-iron pan or grill pan or grill big enough to fit all the tomatoes in one or two rounds. Lightly brush or drizzle your pan with olive oil. Cook the tomatoes in a single layer, cut sides down, for 3 to 4 minutes, until they just start to collapse or buckle when they are plucked at with tongs and their cut sides are browned or even a touch blackened.
Turn off the heat, and turn the tomatoes over, leaving them for 3 minutes on the second side and then removing them, cut sides up, to a plate. Lightly salt the cut sides.
In a mortar and pestle or on a cutting board, pound the garlic to a paste with a large pinch of salt — about 1/2 teaspoon. When you have a fairly smooth paste, mix in the chopped herbs and olive oil. Taste. Adjust salt until the paste is very well seasoned.
Divide the herb paste among the cut sides of the tomatoes, using it all. There should be a thick, herby blanket on each. Eat warm or at room temperature or cool.
Recipe from NYT Cooking.