Heirloom Tomato Gratin

When I was a kid, I wouldn’t eat (or entertain the idea of eating) fresh tomatoes. I was okay with tomato sauce but would gag when I would see my dad eat a sliced tomato with salt, pepper, and nothing but a fork. I didn’t even want a tomato to touch my food. I remember when I started liking tomatoes – I was at lunch eating a veggie burger, forgot to ask for no tomato and didn’t even think to look under the bun before chowing down. My first instinct was Eww, tomato! But as I rushed to swallow it down, I realized it actually added a juicy, brightness to my burger. And from that day on, I have been eating fresh tomatoes. I’m not at a point where I will bite into a tomato like an apple or shove an entire cherry tomato in my mouth but I’m happy that I’ve come a very long way from that childhood gag reflex.

Heirloom Tomato Gratin is a dish that, when I was younger, I could have never envisioned myself making, let alone eating. I’ve seen a basket of heirloom tomatoes in my store the past few times I’ve been in there and decided now was the time to make this summery dish. Heirloom tomatoes are sliced and layered with softly cooked sweet onions and topped with a textured mixture of bread crumbs, salty parmesan cheese, and fresh thyme. I used whole-wheat panko crumbs but try regular panko or simple bread crumbs. I cut the recipe in half and followed the measurements per the recipe but found I need only about half of the bread crumb/cheese mixture. So use your judgment and stop when you think you have enough. Once baked, the tomatoes are sweet and accented nicely by the orange-scented onions, salt and pepper. A perfect light summer meal.

The ingredients:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Rub the inside of a baking dish with garlic, then coat with oil (I used chopped garlic so I left it in the dish).

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, approximately 12 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the orange zest, orange juice and honey.

Spoon half of the onion mixture in the bottom of the prepared dish and spread to cover the bottom. Arrange the tomatoes over the onions, layering slightly. Season with salt and pepper and repeat another layer.

Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, thyme and remaining olive oil in a bowl and sprinkle over the tomatoes.

Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Whole-wheat panko crumbs

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Woman’s Day Magazine

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