Sunday, September 28, 2008
The still overflowing basket of tomatoes on our counter was getting to the Hubby. “We need to use these for something,” he’d say, and I’d just give him a “mmm” to avoid the whole subject, because I hadn’t decided what to do with the (gasp) last of the tomatoes from my garden.
Since he was in the mood for steak for dinner, he suggested I make crumb topped baked tomatoes, a retro recipe I’ve never made before, but remember seeing in my Mom’s cookbooks when I was younger.
It was an incredibly easy recipe to improvise. I didn’t have any bread crumbs, so I made my own in my Cuisinart Mini Food Processor. This is a kitchen gadget I use almost every day for something. It’s handy, easy to clean and so much simpler than dragging out my big food processor (which lives in our basement because our kitchen is so tiny).
Even if I have larger jobs, I usually just do them in batches in the mini processor, rather than truck down the stairs for the bigger model, which is invariably covered in dryer lint, meaning it needs to be washed both before and after using.
For this recipe I just broke a slice of oatmeal bread into pieces and four pulses later, I had soft fresh bread crumbs. These days I actually prefer fresh made crumbs to the store bought dry variety. They add more flavor, better texture and cost next to nothing.
Next I melted some butter in the microwave to toss with the bread crumbs, mixed in some grated some parmigiano reggiano cheese, chopped up some basil and oregano and just like that a tasty side dish was born.
I know it’s simple, but it really is delicious. Stay tuned for the hardest recipe I've ever made...and yes tomatoes are involved.
Crumb Topped Baked Tomatoes
6 medium tomatoes
1 slice oatmeal bread
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons fresh grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
2 teaspoons fresh basil, minced
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
Cut tops off tomatoes and place in baking dish. Place oatmeal bread in food processor and give it about four short pulses until bread had turned into crumbs. Mix bread crumbs with melted butter, cheese and herbs. Place a mounded tablespoon on top of each tomato. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, until bread crumbs are toasted and cheese is melted.