Recipe Flash: Baked Tomatoes with Thyme

AL FRESCO DINNER: Panzanella Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette; Turkey Burgers with Red Onion and Beet Relish; Lemon Tart with Cream

I usually don’t bake tomatoes in the summer because a) the oven makes my apartment unbearably hot and b) the tomatoes are usually so red and juicy that I want to pick one right up and bite into it like an apple. In the winter, a trip to the oven is an excellent way to amplify a tomato’s flavor when it is pale in complexion and lacking in taste. But in the summer, it can feel downright foolish.
But if you need a break from the usual Caprese Salad, and the weather is not quite so stifling, these baked tomatoes make for an excellent and elegant appetizer. They taste great at room temperature, so no need to have the oven on when your guests arrive. If your garden’s yield has become a burden rather than a blessing, this is also an excellent way to use up your excess and eat the yield throughout the week. After the baking process, when you bite into a roasted tomato, its texture is like that of a fresh, red sauce. For this reason, they are a great topping for a simply dressed spaghetti with olive oil and garlic, or a mixed green salad with a basic balsamic dressing.

From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,

Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK

**Recipe**

Baked Tomatoes with Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs and Thyme

Makes 2-4 servings

Ingredients
3/4 pound (about 3) beefsteak or other large firm tomato, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs*
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more stalks for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)

* Remove crusts from 3 slices of sandwich bread and pulse in the food processor.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brush a cast iron skillet or casserole dish with olive oil. Arrange the tomatoes in one layer. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, garlic, and herbs. Add a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to combine with a fork.

Spoon the crumb mixture over each tomato. Drizzle some additional olive oil over the top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are bubbling, then turn the heat up to Broil, and bake for 3-5 more minutes, until the crumbs are nicely browned. Remove from the oven, and garnish with the additional thyme stalks. Serve immediately, or at room temperature.

Posted in: Recipe Flash
  • http://www.alittleginger.com Maddie

    That breadcrumb topping is making me want to turn on my oven. Thankfully, though, I’ve got working AC!

  • TheInternetCookingPrincess

    Amen sister. I’m already having major caprese burnout. You could definitely make these in the morning (so the oven heat isn’t so intense) and serve them at room temp for lunch or dinner so you’re not too glowy at meal time.

  • http://www.earlymorningrun.blogspot.com Lisa @ Early Morning Run

    These look delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

    Found your blog through the NYC Bloggers group on 20SB! I look forward to finding a lot of great tips here!

  • http://www.freshorigins.com Derek

    I made a similar dish for my sisters wedding but ended up using some microgreens as the garnish and a dash of red wine in the pan while they cooked. The guests were very pleased with the way they turned out-

  • Mausi

    This looks so cute and yummy! I don’t want to oven right now too much but I would like to try this when it is not too hot :-) Thanks!

  • Frankie

    I make these with halved tomatoes so the skin contains the drip in the transfer to plate, and I put parmesan in the breadcrumbs and then chopped basil at the finish. But I want to try this version. Summer thyme, mmm. Maybe rosemary in a third variation?

  • the urban baker

    I used to make these all the time, when I first met my husband. Thanks for reminding me of how much I love these!

  • http://twitter.com/happyolks happyolks

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! So yummy! We just did something similar… Try baking your tomaters like this, I swear it will be worth waiting to eat the beauties… love ya girlies! http://www.happyolks.com/stuffed-baked-tomatoes

  • Thehealthyapple

    Wow; these look amazing…I love making baked tomatoes and I bet the thyme is a perfect accompaniment to this dish! Thanks for sharing; have a great day.

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