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)|
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.