August 21, 2011

Broiled Parmesan-Herb Tomatoes

We've been getting a lot of great tomatoes lately, at farmer's markets and through our CSA.  Last weekend I decided to cook up something quick and easy that would showcase these great tomatoes.

There's really not a lot to this recipe.  Slice up some tomatoes, sprinkle on some seasoned breadcrumbs, toss the tomato slices under a broiler for a couple minutes.  That's pretty much it.   It's fast and easy to make.  Just be careful that you don't cook them too long, though, because the bread crumbs burn pretty quickly.  We found that out the hard way.  Watch closely as they cook, because they can go from almost done to over-cooked in about 15 seconds. 

Thankfully, the burnt stuff was only surface-deep,  It didn't have any impact on the flavor, but your tomatoes will look nicer if you pull them out of the oven before they get that browned.  The brief time under the broiler warms and softens the tomato slices a bit without making them mushy, while the topping provides a bit of crunch and adds some seasoning that complements the flavor of the tomatoes.  They were simply delicious.

I served these tomatoes with Grilled Garlic-Rosemary Lamb Chops and Grilled Baking Potatoes with Chives.  The three dishes went well together, making for a very nice meal. 

Broiled Parmesan-Herb Tomatoes

yield = 4 servings

1                 slice sandwich bread, broken into small crumbs
1/4              cup freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2                 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1                 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1                 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2              teaspoon kosher salt
1/4              teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
4                 medium-sized beefsteak (or similar sized
                         heirloom) tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Position oven rack so the surface of a broiling pan will be about 6 inches from the broiler element.  Preheat the oven for high broil.

Add bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, olive oil, basil, thyme, salt and pepper to a small bowl.  Mix thoroughly.   

Spray a broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Arrange tomato slices on the grill of the broiler pan.  Sprinkle the tomato slices evenly with the breadcrumb mixture, then place the broiler pan in the oven.  Broil until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned, about 2 minutes.  Serve immediately. 

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