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.
Adapted from foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.com
Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
cup panko crumbs
Tbsp. Olive Oil
small pat unsalted butter
garlic clove, finely minced
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper
tsp. fresh thyme, finely minced (about 1-2 small sprigs)
Tbsp. Parmesan cheese (optional)
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.