Broiled Heirloom Pesto Tomatoes

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Broiled Heirloom Tomatoes with Pesto

Broiled Heirloom Pesto Tomatoes

Broiled Heirloom Pesto Tomatoes

We recently went to the Fruit Loop in Hood River to pick apples.  If you are in the Portland-area and have not been, I highly recommend taking a day in September (or another time of year) to drive the beautiful loop, stopping at farms and wineries along the way, complete with panoramic views of orchards, vineyards, the Columbia River, Mt. Hood, and even Mt. Adams in the distance.  After a fun-filled day at the farms, we stopped by Double Mountain Brewery for some excellent thin-crust pizza and brew.  That was where I discovered a seasonal pizza special: Heirloom Pesto Pizza.

Later that week, we took a trip to a nearby u-pick farm where my boys and I stocked up on heirloom tomatoes.  Coincidentally, my mom gave me a large bunch of her basil.  As the heirloom-pesto stars aligned, I made a batch of pesto and replicated the summer seasonal pizza at home, simply sans pizza.  The broiled pesto heirloom tomatoes became an immediate appetizer hit with family that was visiting.

You can top your heirloom {or other variety of choice} tomatoes with pesto or the French version sans pine nuts, pistou.  Simply broil the cheese and pesto-topped tomatoes for a few minutes until bubbly and you have a flavorful, simple appetizer or side dish that highlights the simple ingredients of summer.

Broiled Heirloom Pesto Tomatoes
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1+
Top heirloom tomato slices with pesto and broil them with cheese for a simple, summer appetizer or side dish.
  • Heirloom (or other) tomatoes, sliced thickly
  • Mozzarella or blend of Italian cheeses, grated
  • Parmesan or Castello Hirten, finely grated
Pesto or Pistou
  • 1 cup basil leaves, washed and patted dry
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup Romano, pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  1. In a blender, blend the cheese and the pine nuts for a few seconds.
  2. Drizzle in the olive oil and blend the mixture until it is smooth.
  3. Add the garlic and then the basil and the spinach, a little at a time, blending until smooth.
  4. Use the pesto sauce immediately or refrigerate it or freeze it in a sealed container.
  5. Spread pesto on sliced tomato rounds.
  6. Place the rounds on a baking sheet.
  7. Sprinkle the pesto with mozzarella or a mix of grated cheeses.
  8. Top with finely-grated Parmesan cheese.
  9. Broil the pesto tomatoes for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese melts and starts to bubble and turn golden in spots.
  10. Serve the tomatoes immediately.


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