Jay's birthday this year fall ON Thanksgiving and that makes me super duper happy. There will be cake.
And maybe there will be this side dish! Our tomato was super duper strange this year in that the tomatoes didn't start happening in our yard until September, so we ended up with a ton of fresh-but-not-great tomatoes that are still coming, actually. Since they weren't wonderful even though they were straight from the plant they were better to cook with, and this is one of the things I made! You can use old tomatoes, yucky tomatoes, or just regular old Roma tomatoes that you can find year round that frankly never taste that great. Whatever you can find is just fine - the topping is really what we're all about anyway.
Then, place the tomatoes suuuuuper close together in a baking dish. Bake the tomatoes plain at 350F for 15 minutes to give them a head start on roasting and drying out.
And there you go! Delicious, easy, and totally make-ahead for a holiday; just warm them back up right before you eat. The baking and topping really do a number of sub-par tomatoes - I love really bringing out the best in an ingredient. We've made these several times recently and they're a great addition to any dinner - for us they take the place of a salad when it's colder outside.
Baked Tomatoes with Parmesan
- 8 large or equivalent fresh tomatoes, halved and seeds removed
- 1 stick butter
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Arrange the tomatoes cut side up very close together in a baking dish. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and increase the heat to 450F.
- Meanwhile, make the topping. Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the panko, parmesan, thyme, and garlic powder.
- When the tomatoes are out of the oven, use your fingers to mound the panko mixture over the tomatoes. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes more or until the topping is slightly browned on top.
- Serve immediately with your favorite dinner. Enjoy!