Tomato Slabs Roasted with Pesto and Parmesan

This simple way of preparing tomatoes caught my eye during a rerun episode of The Barefoot Contessa.  It's perfect for this time of year when the tomatoes are at their best. 

And the basil is growing profusely.  When we become overrun with the stuff I make pesto. Some for enjoying now, and some for the freezer.  

For the freezer batch, I use the food processor to combine the basil leaves, olive oil and salt and pepper as usual, but I find it has a much fresher taste if I stir in the freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, ground pine nuts and fresh minced garlic cloves just when I'm ready to use the pesto (rather than freezing the garlic and pine nuts with the sauce.)  

These are SO delicious, and so easy to put together ~ just thick tomato slices, a sprinkle of salt & pepper, a gentle shower of dried oregano, a few drops of olive oil, then they are roasted for a few minutes. Next a spoonful of fragrant pesto, and a topping of cheese, then back they go into the oven until the cheese melts.

I made a few changes to The Barefoot Contessa version.

I used my own version for the pesto, and also cut way back on the salt and oil compared to Ina's version. The pesto is already seasoned, and contains olive oil, and the Parmesan is plenty salty.

These would make a fabulous appetizer, light lunch, and they are a salad or side dish ~ delicious served warm, or at room temperature.

This version is roasted in a 425˚ (F) oven for just a few minutes, but I'm sure they could be made on the outdoor grill either on a perforated grill basket, or a grill-proof baking sheet.

This one, and similar simple recipes can be found in Ina's "How Easy Is That?" cookbook.

Next time I would consider topping them with grated mozzarella cheese or Romano.  I think they would be equally delicious that way, too.

The printable recipe can be found on my recipe page by clicking here.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and for any thoughts you would like to share.


  1. What a beautiful and simple treat. Tomatoes are so delicious when you pair them with pesto and cheese. Wonderful recipe :)

    If you’d like, I wanted to invite you to share your best recipes over at my new party, Recipe Sharing Monday at Jam Hands. I’m going to be featuring my favorite submissions during the week and I’d love it if you’d join in the fun. :O)

  2. So simple and delicious! great appetizer indeed!

  3. I can't wait to make these! We make stuffed tomatoes a lot, and we all love pesto, but I never thought to combine the two. :)

  4. What a way to celebrate the season. All of my favorites in one place! Beautiful presentation. You are the master at developing a recipe and I always enjoy reading your posts. Thanks for giving me something to aim for!

  5. They do sound delicious and with all this garden basil perfect to make this time of year.

  6. They look so good..Using things that are in season always make food taste better..Pretty photos as always:) Thank you.

  7. Food Porn at its best my friend!
    Gorgeous! I am drooling!

  8. Thank you so much for your kind comments everyone ~ you all are the BEST! xo

  9. I like the presentation of's more updated and lighter looking than a whole stuffed tomato.

  10. I saw this episode too. I love the changes you've made. If you read the review on the FN, you've hit the nail on the head about the things the people that reviewed the recipe would change, especially the fat and salt. Great job and outstanding photos.

  11. Mmm...these would smell so good. I love fresh pesto!

  12. Oh what a fabulous idea. I've got just the pesto for this. Yum.

  13. Food for the mouth, food for the eyes, food for the spirit, and food for the soul.

    Another magnificent creation, Mari!

    ~ Craig

  14. Oh my! These do look tasty! Can't wait to try, thanks. :)

  15. Perfection, I tell you. Your photography never fails to make me salivate. Too bad you're all the way over there - I'd love to shoot with you.


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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