Roasted Tomatoes Au Gratin

This very easy side dish is a bit like a tomatoes Provencal dish I recall from the south of France. There are many versions of it, some calling for a combination of breadcrumbs and cheese, some just cheese, like this variation here. It’s great served with rice, on the side of grilled fish or poultry or red meat. It’s great on warm afternoons and summery evenings.

It’s very simple. The only really important thing is to start with sweet tomatoes. Try this with ripe roma tomatoes, medium vine-ripe tomatoes, and even little cherry tomatoes. I used very nice tomatoes about and inch-and-a-half in diameter. I cut off the very top 10% of the tomatoes with a very sharp knife (a finely serrated knife would work well). I rubbed about a tablespoon and a half of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of an oval cassarole and nestled the tomatoes snugly.

I scattered some minced fresh basil and minced fresh marjoram over the top and seasoned it very well with good sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. I covered each tomato with about a tablespoon of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese and drizzle more olive oil over the top, perhaps another two tablespoons.

I put the whole thing in a preheated 400 degree F oven and cooked until the top was lightly browned and the tomatoes had released their juice. It came out absolutely delicious!

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