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Tomatoes Gratin

Posted in Food & Entertaining

gratin tomatoesToday it is Yom Kippur, the holiest of Jewish holidays, and possibly my favorite.

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.

Roma tomatoesRECIPE – yields 20 tomatoes

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
Olive oil

  • 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.

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9 Comments

    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      🙂

      October 17, 2016
      |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Let me know if you do.

      October 15, 2016
      |Reply
  1. I love these and it’s been too long since I last made them, so thanks for the reminder. The ingredients are the same, but I’ve made grilled tomatoes without removing the pulp and cooked under the broiler. I will definitely try your mother’s way next time. Great that you are ‘extracting’ recipes from your mother and sharing them with us!

    October 13, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      It might sound morbid, but I feel like I should gather all her knowledge and writing it down while I still can! I will try your method too and see how it compares. Probably faster.

      October 13, 2016
      |Reply
      • It is definitely faster, but I think the slower method is better for enhancing the tomato flavor.

        October 13, 2016
        |Reply
  2. Luckily, I still have quite a few on the vines. I add veal mince to mine usually but made a vegetarian version with lentils last week. Was very tasty.

    October 13, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Love the idea of lentils as I am always looking for vegetarian options that pack some proteins.

      October 13, 2016
      |Reply

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