Think back, what foods did you hate as a kid but now love as an adult? I just remember gagging over green olives, artichokes, blue cheese and tomatoes. I make fun of the adults who do that now…taunting them to eat these delicious foods and doubting their true hatred. For example, Josh hated cilantro, now sings its praises; and I hated fresh tomatoes but after trying this dish, I am a HUGE fan.
I tasted this tomato recipe from B&A Warehouse, which is an amazing catering kitchen here in Birmingham. I just had to recreate it. A cool thing about this recipe – you can make this with those less-than-stellar tomatoes sold in winter because the baking process will help make them somewhat sweeter. Please realize that this recipe enhances the lovely tomato flavor – meaning there is still texture left after baking, it’s not supposed to resemble those stuffed bell peppers cooked to the point of total devastation, like a collapsing dwarf star.
4 ripe medium tomatoes
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, grated (finely minced)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the top off of each tomato. With your finger, dig out the top portion of the tomato segments.
In a small bowl, add all remaining ingredients. Mix to combine.
Using a spoon, pack the breadcrumb mixture into and mound on top of each tomato. You may need to use your hands.
Place on a tinfoil covered sheet pan. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes. Your goal is to heat the tomato through not cook it to the point of implosion. The crumb coating will brown and heat through.
It’s time to grow up. It’s time to try new things. My friend Melinda’s goal this year was to wear thong flip-flops and try tomatoes. She mastered the flip-flops, so it’s now time to try the tomatoes. Come on Melinda, I dare you. You will not be disappointed. 😉