Storified by Arya McLean· Mon, Mar 25 2013 22:18:30
Baked tomatoes with mushrooms and basil are a sweet, tangy and delicious side dish to grilled meats, seafood or fish. It adds color, fragrance, and flavor to any meal. It can also be served as a salad appetizer or topped over greens for a warm and cold salad treat. Spoon it over crostini, toasted bread, or crackers for a quick and fancy hors d’oeuvres. Top it over freshly cooked pasta and serve with some garlic bread for a heart-warming and comforting meal. Baked tomatoes are also perfect for adding in omelets, sandwiches, burgers, crepes, or frittatas. They can also be used as a dip for nachos, tortillas, or chips.
If you have an abundance of surplus of tomatoes, the best way to preserve them is to bake them. You can store then in a jar with a tight lid and they can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or longer. They also make lovely and thoughtful gifts for birthdays or special occasions. This flavorful and aromatic dish brings out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes. It concentrates all the delicious flavors of the tomatoes and gives it a meatier texture that makes an unforgettable pasta dish. If you have tomatoes that are a bit bland, baking them is a great way to bring out their sweetness. This is also great for tomatoes that are already too ripe for using in other dishes. With this gourmet kitchen recipe, you don’t have to throw those unwanted tomatoes away and can still enjoy them as a delicious entrée, antipasto or side dish.
You can also top these baked tomatoes over vegetables for a more flavorful vegetarian meal. You can use your favorite mushroom to make this recipe. Fresh mushrooms are ideal, but you can also use the canned variety, although the canned ones have diminished flavor.