1 C fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
2 cloves of garlic
3 T of pine nuts
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 T + 1/2 C of Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
1 t salt, divided
1/2 t pepper, divided
4 large plum tomatoes
Place the basil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor or blender and process until finely chopped. While still blending slowly add in 1/4 C of the oil and process until the mixture forms a paste. Add 3 T of the Parmesan cheese, 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t of the pepper and pulse until just combined. Remove the mixture to a bowl and allow it to stand 15 minutes so the flavors can incorporate together.
Prepare the grill for the medium hot temperature. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Brush the cut sides of the tomatoes with the remaining oil then sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes cut side down on the grill and cook 8 minutes or until soft and slightly grill marked. Carefully remove the tomatoes and stuff each tomato half with the pesto mixture. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese evenly over each stuffed tomato.
Makes 8 servings.
Grilling vegetables helps the natural sugars to caramelize giving them a bit of a sweet taste along with a slight smokiness that is pleasant to the taste buds. Use plum tomatoes because of their meaty texture and firmness making them much easier to handle when grilled.