A Summer's Day Tomato Gratin
You may increase this recipe with impunity, and will probably want to. Generously thick-cut and mounded with crisp and garlicky breadcrumbs, one tomato slice is probably enough for one non-gluttonous person, but chances are almost everyone will want seconds of this more-ish dish. Remember that, although they can overlap slightly, the tomatoes really must bake in a single layer, so bring all your gratin, baking dishes, and shallow casseroles into play.
Serves5 to 6 people
Cooking Time15 min
Total TimeUnder 30 minutes
Recipe CourseSide Dish
- 3 large, ripe—but not mushy—tomatoes (preferably heirloom), cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 cup coarse, fresh sourdough bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup finely grated imported Parmesan or domestic grana cheese
Place the sliced tomatoes between two paper towels and let stand for 45 minutes to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 500°, place a rack in the center position, and brush a large, shallow gratin dish or earthenware casserole with a little olive oil.
Arrange the tomato slices only just slightly overlapping in the dish. Season lightly with salt and pepper and scatter half the basil over the top.
In a small skillet, sizzle the garlic in the olive oil for about 45 seconds, or until the aroma is released. Remove from heat and stir in the bread crumbs and a touch more salt and pepper. Scatter the bread-crumb mixture over the tomatoes and top with the Parmesan.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until the crumbs are golden. If desired, let stand for up to 1 hour. Reheat in a low oven for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Core and slice the tomatoes, chop the basil and garlic, make the bread crumbs, and grate the cheese.