A good friend of mine got married last year down in the Outer Banks, NC. Her in-laws, who are exceptional cooks, made most of the meals for the event, including the rehearsal dinner. One of the sides for the amazing crabcakes they made were baked tomatoes, laced with fresh herbs. They were delicious, and I mentally filed the idea away to use later.
I wanted to make them, but there's nothing worse than having to fire up the oven on a hot summer day. I came up with this variation, which can be made ahead of time, plated when needed, and makes the most of those super-ripe summer tomatoes.
*This is also my entry into Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging Roundup, a great place to check out what some of the other food blogs have done this week.*
Parmesan Tomatoes with Basil Oil
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 c seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
5 tbsp olive oil
1/3 c fresh basil leaves
4 large tomatoes, sliced 1/3" thick
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add minced garlic, and saute 30 seconds. Add breadcrumbs, and toast, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and place in bowl. Add parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Set aside.
In a food processor, combine remaining 5 tbsp olive oil, basil leaves, and a pinch of salt. Puree until smooth.
On a serving dish, arrange tomatoes in a single layer. Drizzle with basil oil and top with parmesan crumbs.