Growing up, summer dinners were pretty predictable. We always seemed to have at least one watermelon in the garden that the squirrels and birds hadn’t found. And there were always plenty, plenty of tomatoes. We might have hot dogs, chips, and tomatoes. Or chicken-friend steak, mashed potatoes, and tomatoes. Or lasagna, garlic bread, and – you guessed it. Tomatoes.
Grandpa salted and peppered both sides of his sliced tomatoes before taking a bite. And his youngest daughter, my mother, did the same as she passed around a plate of sliced tomatoes along with a salt & pepper shaker. This summer, that same plate of tomatoes sat between us at nearly every meal, the bowl of salt and pepper grinder within reach.
Little needs to be done to a ripe tomato to make it side-dish or main-dish worthy but broiling them with some bread crumbs, cheese, and fresh herbs is a fantastic way to elevate those late summer tomatoes and give them a little crunch.
Make the most of summer tomatoes with a crunchy herb and breadcrumb topping.
- Olive oil
- 3 medium beefsteak tomatoes, (about 6 oz each), sliced 1/4-inch thick
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs or panko
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- Position the top oven rack 6 inches below the broiler and heat on high.
- Lightly oil a broiler-safe baking dish or plate.
- Arrange the tomato slices in the baking dish in a single, slightly overlapping layer and prinkle with 1/4 tsp salt.
- In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, panko, cheese, parsley, 2 tsp olive oil, a pinch of salt, and pepper.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the tomatoes.
- Broil just until the breadcrumbs are a deep golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Top with basil, drizzle with additional olive oil, and serve immediately.
Yields: 6 servings
Estimated time: 10 minutes