Grilled Tomatoes Are Sizzling Good Eating

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With garden tomatoes hitting their summer stride, the homegrown vegetable that’s really a fruit shows up in everything from soups and salads to refreshing spicy sorbet. Although one may not normally associate tomatoes with outdoor cooking, grilling firm tomatoes of any variety will draw out spectacular flavor that will earn any grill master the right to don that “kiss the cook” apron.

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What you’ll need: Firm tomatoes / kosher salt / black pepper / olive oil / fresh basil. Any variety of tomato can be used, but meatier types will hold together better over the heat.

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Wash and cut tomatoes in half crosswise. It may be tempting to slice tomatoes, but they are more likely to fall apart while grilling.

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Sprinkle a dash of kosher salt over cut side of tomato halves. The salt will add flavor, but also helps draw some of the moisture from the flesh before cooking.

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Turn tomatoes cut side down on a wire rack and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Place rack over paper towels or a cutting board with reservoir to catch liquid as it drains.

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Use a sharp knife to finely chop fresh basil to top tomatoes once they have been grilled.

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Use a pastry brush to coat tomatoes with olive oil.

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Sprinkle pepper over cut side of tomato.

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Place tomatoes on a hot grill cut side down. The high heat will help capture the smoky flavor and char marks associated with grilling.

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After 3-4 minutes on the grill, use a spatula or tongs to flip tomatoes. Once flipped, grill 3 to 4 minutes longer until the skin begins to blister and separate from the flesh. Cook time will vary depending on tomato size and variety. Once thoroughly cooked, remove from grill.

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Top each tomato (cut side up) with a little freshly chopped basil to add irresistible summer taste to your grilled tomatoes.

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A little extra olive oil after grilling will enhance the flavor of the tomato and basil.

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