Jews all over the world atone for the sins of the past year and ask God for forgiveness. Whilst I am not a believer, I have always cherished the idea of spending 24 hours thinking back about the wrongs we committed, the people we hurt over the past 12 months and asking for forgiveness. With the Jewish new year just begun, it’s a way to start with a clean slate.
A few days ago I also bid goodbye to something much more mundane than my sins. Tomatoes.
The weather is turning cooler, produce choices are becoming less abundant and buying tomatoes past the first week of October doesn’t make much sense, in terms of taste.
Roasting plain tomatoes to extract as much flavor as possible is always a good idea but, for the break fast dinner I will be attending tonight, I wanted something a bit more interesting, and I asked my mother to prepare to tomatoes gratin she used to make when I was a child. I am not sure this recipe hails from Bologna, where I am from, but the versions I have seen in different parts of Italy are not exactly like the one my mother makes.
When you plan to roast tomatoes, filled or otherwise, it’s always a good idea to make more than you think you will need as they shrink enormously. Which is exactly what we did for our dinner of ravenous guests who will have fasted all day.
10 Campari or Roma tomatoes
3/4 C Italian Parsley, finely chopped
1/2 Small clove of garlic, very finely chopped
2 T Parmesan, grated
2 T Breadcrumbs
Salt and Pepper
- Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and remove core, pulp and seeds. Keep the pulp.
- In a bowl, combine parsley, garlic, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and a little bit of the tomato pulp to obtain a not too wet paste. Add a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Fill the tomato shells with the filling – they don’t need to be stuffed all the way to the top.
- Place the tomatoes in a well oiled roasting pan and roast in a 375F/190C oven until the tomatoes have nearly dried up and the topping looks golden, about 1 hour to 90 mins depending on your oven.
- Eat warm or at room temperature.