Monday, September 16, 2013

Garlic Bread Tomatoes

 Well hello everyone!  I've been on hiatus lately, which is code for I've been really busy and haven't managed my time well enough to get everything done.  No, actually, I've been enjoying the summer with my 7 fantastic children.  They are growing up so fast, and I didn't want to miss the last summer we would ever all be home.  You see, my oldest son, Colton is spending the next 2 years as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  in the great state of Montana.  So far, he has thoroughly enjoyed his time there and has met so many wonderful people!  Amazing, down to earth, good people.  I'll tell you more about that later, but right now, these lovely tomatoes are the order of the day.

In my area, the tomato plants are just loaded with what is, without a doubt, the main reason we have summer.  The only reason to endure the 105° temperatures is to go to the water park and eat tomatoes.  I have so many tomatoes I've been searching for new ways to use them.  I've already made several batches of my favorite home canned salsa, eaten more tomatoes and cottage cheese than should be allowed by law and shared them with everyone I know and I still have them coming out my ears!  I've tried to incorporate them into every dish I make.  Then I found these.

Let me tell you about this dish.  It is so delicious and wonderful and different that it will knock your proverbial socks off.  It really is a great side dish.  Just a touch of garlic and a hint of fresh basil topped with a crispy crumb coating.  It's a party in your mouth.  It is also low fat and really quite healthy.  And as I sit here writing this I'm contemplating how I could make these on the grill to add a smokey outdoor flavor to them.  Hmmmm....  I think I know what I'm trying for lunch today. 

So grab a tomato out of the overflowing bowl you have sitting on your counter (come on, you know you have one of those this time of year too) and give these a try, you'll love them.

Garlic Bread Tomatoes 
Serves about 4
1 large tomato, cut into fourths horizontally (Be sure to use a nice meaty tomato, or you could end up with a watery side dish)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Chopped basil leaves (fresh is best, but dried will do in a pinch)
pinch or two of coarse salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
1-2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 425° F.  Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan and chopped basil leaves together.

Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top with garlic and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Don't over do it on the garlic.  A little goes a long way in this dish.  We are going for light garlic flavor, not vampire repellent.  

Then  carefully add spoonfuls of the Parmesan/bread crumbs mixture to the top of each tomato slice. Drizzle with oil and bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Adapted from:  Savoring the Thyme

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