In a medium bowl, stir the cheese, oil, basil, zest, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours before assembling.
When ready to assemble, slice each tomato in half (either direction is all right) and scoop out the insides with the small end of a melon baller or a teaspoon. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Invert onto a paper towel and let the tomatoes drain for 15 min.
Fill each tomato half with a scant teaspoon of the cheese mixture and arrange on a serving tray. Serve immediately as an hors d’oeuvre, or wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on six servings;
Photo: Scott Phillips