I served this dish for a dinner party a couple of weeks ago, but we inhaled every last bit of it so I didn’t get a photo. Technically, I didn’t make it. My friends had to make it because although my husband and I love to entertain, I don’t think I’ve ever thrown a dinner party where I wasn’t still cooking when the guests arrived. This time, not only was I still cooking, I hadn’t made a couple of the dishes. My friend Jay made this dish for me with some help from Nancy who made the executive decision that the it was a waste of time to cut the tomatoes in half. My friend Nicole had to make the cous cous with peas and mint. I was able to have all of the appetizers ready by the time the guests arrived, and all of the desserts were made too, it’s just the main course that I had a little trouble pulling together. Thank goodness for great friends. I actually love cooking with friends over a glass of wine, so maybe I subliminally delay my preparation. Who knows!
I love this tomato dish. I also love that it’s a gratin but doesn’t have any cheese in it. I recommend using big cloves of garlic when you make this, and don’t skimp on the fresh parsley either. The crumb topping is delicious. Since the boys wouldn’t touch this (no big surprise), my husband and I ate it for leftovers. It was just as good as a leftover. The crumbs are really full of flavor and when you roast the tomatoes, they almost become slightly sweet. Delicious and great as a side dish for a dinner party.
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3 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large garlic cloves
1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 cups coarse bread cubes from country bread, crusts removed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes in 9×13-inch ceramic or glass dish. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Toss together. Spread tomatoes evenly in pan.
Place garlic, parsley and 1/2 teaspoon salt in food processor fitted with steel blade. Process until garlic is finely chopped. Add bread cubes and process until bread is in crumbs. Add 3/4 cup oil and pulse a few times to blend. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over tomatoes.
Bake gratin until crumbs are golden and tomato juices are bubbling, 40-45 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
Yield: 6 servings
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