6 medium-size tomatoes
4 tablespoons OLIVE & VINE extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan (or an infused oil such as Sweet Basil, Cilantro and Roasted Onion, Meyer Lemon or Eureka Lemon)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Thai basil, finely chopped
Cut the tomatoes across their horizontal equators.
Heat a cast-iron pan or grill pan over medium heat and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Cook the tomatoes in a single layer, cut sides down, for 3 to 4 minutes, until they just start to collapse and their cut sides are browned or even a touch blackened.
Turn off the heat, and turn the tomatoes over, leaving them for 3 minutes on the other side. Remove them to a plate, cut sides up, and lightly salt.
In a mortar and pestle or on a cutting board, pound the garlic to a paste with a large pinch of salt - about 1/2 teaspoon. When you have a fairly smooth paste, mix in the chopped herbs and olive oil. Taste and adjust salt until the paste is very well seasoned.
Divide the herb paste among the cut sides of the tomatoes, using it all. There should be a thick, herby blanket on each. Can be served warm or chilled.