Pecorino Baked Tomatoes
These juicy colourful tomatoes with a crunchy topping are delicious with steak, rack of lamb or pork chops; indeed, almost any main course. They are perfect and reassuring for a lazy or haphazard cook because almost anything goes with these tomatoes. They can be prepared and cooked ahead, at the time, or not at all; served warm, at room temperature or cold and the quantities and ingredients are flexible, so can be adjusted as you wish.
Not only are they wonderful as a vegetable, they are good as a starter or lunch cooked in individual pots and served with, for example burrata, black olives and crusty bread to soak up the delicious juices. I also love them for lunch served very cold on a thick slice of sour dough toast, topped with poached egg - I particularly like that hot/cold combination, but curiously not for breakfast (same combination, but perhaps slightly less garlic) when the tomatoes absolutely must be hot. Try them on rice topped with crumbled feta or serve the tomatoes pretty much whole, just with their tops removed (rather like a boiled egg). However you serve them, this recipe is a really good one to have up your sleeve.
8 large tomatoes
Generous shake Worcestershire sauce
2 tsps. chilli flakes
3 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
2 heaped tbsps. panko breadcrumbs
2 heaped tbsps. grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
2 tsps. coconut oil or olive oil
Thickly slice the tomatoes, or if you are leaving them whole, cut off their tops and place the tomatoes in an oven-proof dish. Drizzle with the Worcestershire sauce (I am fairly liberal) Sprinkle with the chilli flakes. Grate the garlic over the top. Season with salt and pepper.
Dissolve the coconut oil (or use olive oil) in a small saucepan, add the panko crumbs and toss around over a medium heat until the crunchy crumbs begin to turn golden, about 1-2 minutes
Remove from the heat, stir in the grated cheese and sprinkle over the tomatoes.
You can now:-
Serve them just as they are
Store in the fridge ready to roast later for 10 minutes or so and serve immediately
Roast them, cool and reserve in the fridge ready to serve later either warm or at room temperature, drizzled with a little olive oil.
The tomatoes are quite wet when cooked so resist the temptation to drizzle them with olive oil at the preparation stage.
Panko crumbs give a better crunch than fresh breadcrumbs.
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