In Autumn tomatoes come into their own. Not only are the tomatoes a little juicer, a little sweeter away from that hot sun, but the weather is a little cooler and so cooking tomatoes becomes an option again – baked, grilled, fried, sauteed, sauced, pureed – you name the cooking method and tomatoes will have it covered.
Gratineed tomatoes are filled with cheese, herbs and breadcrumbs and oven baked for slightly retro but awesome lunches or as a side dish to a main meal. They can be cooked in covered BBQs as well.
Pomodori Gratinati | Tomatoes Gratineed with Cheese
6 large ripe plum tomatoes
3 Tblspns chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
10 or so mint leaves
10 or so basil leaves
1 Tblspn freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 Tblspn grated fresh pecorino cheese
1.5 Tblspn fine breadcrumbs
6 Tblspn cold pressed virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Wash and dry the tomatoes and halve them. With a teaspoon, gently scoop out the flesh and seeds without damaging the tomato shells. It may help to use a small knife to sever first, then scoop with the spoon.
Put the tomato shells into a baking dish cut side up, and season with salt and pepper.
Finely chop the tomato flesh and seeds and put into a bowl. Add the parsley, garlic, mint and basil. Stir in the grated cheeses and breadcrumbs. Mix well, and add half of the olive oil. Mix again.
Spoon the mixture into the tomato shells and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Bake in the hot oven for 25 – 35 minutes or until they are lightly golden and cooked.
Serve warm or at room temperature.