If fresh ripe tomatoes aren't yet available yet where you live, then this is the second recipe I have posted lately that you really should bookmark for when they are. (Here's the first!) ;-) Unlike many of the recipes on the Ottolenghi iPhone app that I decide to make while standing at the grocery store, I have been planning on making Baked Tomatoes with Baguette for a while. The thought of scooping up soft tomatoes bursting with flavor and topped with crispy bread crumbs and Parmesan, then sopping up the creamy juices with pieces of baguette seemed like a little bit of heaven to me. And it is...
I used an assortment of fresh local tomatoes--heirloom, Roma and sweet cherry and grape and made a half-ish batch. Perfect as an appetizer for two or a light dinner when served with a salad.
In addition to the Ottolenghi recipe app, you can also find the recipe at The Guardian here.
Baked Tomatoes with Baguette
2 tbsp heavy cream
3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 tsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1/2 rosemary sprig, finely chopped
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 lbs good-quality tomatoes of as many colors and sizes as you can find
1 small French baguette, half to make croutons and half to serve
2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix the cream,
anchovies, sugar, garlic, rosemary, 1 1/2 Tbsp of the olive oil and one-third of the Parmesan. Cut
larger tomatoes widthwise into 1/2-inch slices and halve smaller ones. Put
them in a bowl and pour in the cream mix. Gently combine with your
hands, so the tomatoes are coated, then place cut side up in an ovenproof dish (roughly 9 x10 inches) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges of the tomatoes start to
Meanwhile, cut the crust off half the baguette and tear the
bread into rough chunks ranging from small crumbs to 1/2-inch chunks. Toss them in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil,
spread out on a baking sheet and bake alongside the tomatoes for seven
minutes, until dry and lightly golden.
Remove both trays from the
oven and spread the croutons on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle over the
remaining cheese and the oregano, and bake for seven minutes more, until
the cheese has melted. Remove, set aside for 20-30 minutes (the flavour
intensifies), then serve with the rest of the baguette.
Notes/Results: This is a keeper. The tomatoes burst with flavor, the sauce is lightly creamy and full of the flavor of the garlic and herbs and is perfect soaked up by the bread. The crispy topping adds good texture. A couple of changes. I made a half-batch but ended up using about the whole 3 tablespoons of cream in it. (Actually unsweetened non-dairy creamer because that is what I had on hand.) I added the extra because my mixture was more a paste than pourable with the amount specified--plus a little extra sauce never hurts when you have bread to dip into it. I also added the whole clove of garlic rather than halving it. Finally, as much as I like the flavor anchovy adds to a dish, I don't like to see the hairy little buggers. I used an anchovy paste I buy at my local grocery store. Makes me happy because I don't have to cut them up. An easy recipe. The hardest part is waiting 20-30 minutes to start eating it. I will make this again.
We are Painting the Town Red this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs with Ottolenghi recipes featuring red ingredients. You can check out what everyone made by following the links.