Wednesday, September 4

Baked Heirloom Tomatoes

Usually I would say that heirloom tomatoes should be eaten raw, since their flavor and texture this time of year are pretty much perfect and only need a pinch of salt or a drizzle of olive oil to create a fantastic meal. But I've been spoiled by eating them every week for the last couple of months and was ready to experiment. These baked tomatoes are very simple but make a beautiful side dish or light vegetarian meal. The tomatoes stay mostly whole and are topped with crunchy, cheesy breadcrumbs that bake into the fruit and get nice and browned on top. You can certainly use any type of tomato you like as long as it's ripe and flavorful - they still retain their shape and taste after baking so use the best that you can get.

Baked Parmesan-Panko Heirloom Tomatoes:
  • Combine 1 c. panko breadcrumbs, 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp. herbs de Provence,* and 2 tbsp. olive oil in a bowl.
  • Slice the tops off of 2 large heirloom tomatoes and lightly squeeze out some of the seeds.
  • Place the tomatoes in a small baking dish and pack the breadcrumb mixture on top of each tomato.
  • Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and bake in a 375F oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
  • Sprinkle with fresh parsley, cut in half (if desired), and serve.

Serves four (side dish)
*Or any herb blend, such as oregano, parsley, thyme and basil.