For a few years, I had the pleasure of accompanying my best friend and her husband to a Canadian lodge each fall for their anniversary. It was the perfect vacation. A kind of a summer camp for grown ups. You get to sleep in a cabin. You can participate in different activities such as kayaking or tennis or bike riding. You can be incredibly lazy and read and nap all day long if that’s what you are into. This place feeds you well several times per day. The reason I bring this up is that breakfast could be a choice of light fare or you could choose to put together a giant stick to your ribs feast. Since Canada is part of the United Kingdom, the breakfast choices included some English seeming choices. One of which is the choice to have a grilled tomato with breakfast. Once I discovered this option, I had to have it most mornings that I stayed there. It was quite delectable with eggs, indeed.
After I stopped going on vacation with my friends to Canada, I forgot about grilled tomatoes as a breakfast side dish. One weekend at the “In laws”, my boyfriend’s step mom made broiled tomatoes as a side dish for dinner. They were so good that I had to have seconds. They were broiled tomatoes with herbs and Parmesan sprinkled on top. Oh, they were so very yummy. Roasting the tomatoes for 15 minutes and then broiling the cheese on top gives the tomatoes a wonderful sweet flavor. They are divine!
I use tomatoes a lot when they are in season and it is rare for me to buy them and then not finish them up for whatever their intended purpose was. I am a Virgo and adhering to a shopping list and the ensuing plan for the groceries during the week is a must or else I start going a little crazy. You don’t really want to see me if I start getting a little crazy. This week I somehow managed to buy too many tomatoes. When I went in the kitchen to figure out what to eat for breakfast, I realized that if I didn’t do something, I would lose them. They would eventually spoil. On the rare occasion that I have tomatoes just milling about the kitchen, I have improvised my own version of broiled tomatoes. They are amazing as a side dish to eggs and toast. Just add coffee and a cold glass of OJ and it is fine dining.
I know it is late in the season to be posting a recipe about roasting tomatoes but we are still lucky enough to have the last of the fall tomatoes. I hit the Farmer’s market after breakfast and decided to replace the tomatoes I used up this morning with a fresh batch. The heirloom tomatoes are definitely on their way out after a week of chilly, foggy weather. If you can still get some tomatoes locally or you are someone who doesn’t care how far your tomatoes travel to get to you, roasting them in this fashion should yield a tasty, flavorful side dish even though the tomatoes are starting to be a pale facsimile of their glorious summer selves. If you have any of these roasted tomatoes leftover, you should use them for a tasty vegetarian sandwich. I don’t think you’ll end up with any leftovers.
Roasted and broiled tomatoes
3 or 4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced horizontally into 2-3 thick slices.
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Dried basil to taste or fresh basil, minced, to taste
Dried oregano to taste or fresh oregano, minced to taste
½ to 1 cup of shredded hard cheese such as Parmesan or Romano
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a broiler safe pan that is large enough to accommodate the amount of tomato slices you will have. I use a well-seasoned iron griddle. If the pan you are using is something that is not seasoned and sticking could be an issue, oil the pan. Place the tomato slices on your pan. Sprinkle them with garlic, basil, oregano and pepper. Top each herbed tomato slice with a generous mound of cheese. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil until cheese melts and browns slightly. Serve immediately.