About this Recipe
This Southern French side dish is perfect for late summer, when you’re swimming in fresh, sun-warmed tomatoes but the evenings have acquired a cool edge that calls for a heartier preparation. Roasting them concentrates their sweetness, and the garlicky breadcrumbs add a crunchy contrast to the pudding-soft tomatoes. A little parmesan or pecorino can be an excellent addition to the breadcrumb mixture, and leftovers are phenomenal coarsely chopped and tossed with pasta.
Tomatoes are wonderful sources of lycopene, a powerful carotenoid antioxidant. Adding whole-grain breadcrumbs increases the fiber significantly, and the trio of parsley, garlic, and olive oil are as healthy as they are delicious.
- 1 cup (100 g) breadcrumbs (preferably whole-grain sourdough)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb (500 g) fresh ripe tomatoes (round slicing or large paste varieties are best)
Step 1Heat the oven to 375˚F/190˚C.
Step 2Put the breadcrumbs in the food processor with the garlic, parsley, oil, salt, and pepper and run it for about 30 seconds (or pulse it several times) to create a uniformly green paste. Taste the mixture for seasoning; it should be assertive since the tomatoes are unseasoned.
Step 3Cut the tomatoes in half longitudinally, making a small triangular cut to remove the stem end if it’s large and tough. Arrange them cut side up in an ovenproof dish or baking sheet so that they’re touching; this will help keep rounder specimens from tipping over and spilling their precious cargo during roasting. Put a spoon of the breadcrumb mixture on each tomato, patting it down and gently spreading it to cover the entire cut surface of each one.
Step 4Bake them for about half an hour, until the topping is nicely browned, and finish them (attentively, so they don’t burn) under the broiler if you like. Serve them right away.
Substitutions: Eggplant or zucchini take well to this technique
Level Up: Make your own breadcrumbs
Try It With: Anything Mediterranean or summery
Zero Waste: Tomato trimmings can go in vinegar or stock
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