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Panko Stuffed Broiled Tomatoes


There is a reason why I choose to bake my tomatoes for a few minutes, before broiling them. I like for the tomatoes to soften just a bit, before broiling the seasoned topping under the broiler. A garlic-infused olive oil is added to Panko crumbs. Why Panko crumbs? They give a beautiful "crunch" to the topping. Sure, you can use regular breadcrumbs, but Panko is my #1 choice. This grocery item is more widely available in most grocery stores (maybe in the Japanese/International section), at at Trader Joe's.


2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
½ cup panko crumbs
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 small pat unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, finely minced
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper
2-3 tsp. fresh thyme, finely minced (about 1-2 small sprigs)
1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese (optional)
4 small "dots" unsalted butter (optional)
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Preheat oven to 350F Cut tomatoes, lengthwise, in half Remove pulp and seeds Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper inside the tomatoes Heat olive oil and butter on low heat; add the minced garlic and allow to "steep" for about five minutes In a separate bowl, add the fresh thyme and Parmesan cheese. Add the olive oil and combine to the seasoned crumbs with a fork. Fill the cavity of each tomato and place into a small oven-proof dish that has been very lightly brushed with olive oil. Bake at 350 for about 7-8 minutes. Add a small dot of butter to each tomato and turn on the broiler (second highest rack position). Broil for 2-3 more minutes, until golden brown. Serve.

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