If you make this dish in tomato season, when colorful heirlooms are in markets everywhere just waiting to become dinner, you won’t really be surprised by its juicy profundity of flavors—a gorgeous mix of sweet, salty, pungent, and umami, all baked until golden and bubbling on top. But what’s so especially appealing about this dish is that it’s also amazing when made with, meh, out-of-season tomatoes, those hydroponic specimens that you buy because, well, waiting until July seems impossible. In both cases, the garlicky, lemony bread crumbs, anchovy oil, and Parmesan will work their magic, seasoning the vegetables while they roast. Serve this as a side dish, or make it the star of a light meal, with some crusty bread to mop up all those luscious, tangy juices.
makes 8 side dish servings or 4 main course servings
4 large tomatoes, preferably heirlooms, cut into fat wedges
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, preferably a mix of colors
12 oil-packed anchovy fillets, minced, divided
½ cup (1½ ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup panko bread crumbs
2 fat garlic cloves, finely grated or minced, divided
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
Large pinch of fine sea salt
Fresh basil or mint leaves, torn, for serving
1. Heat the oven to 375°F.
2. Arrange the tomato wedges in a gratin dish or a 9 × 13-inch baking dish, or use individual gratin dishes. Scatter the cherry tomatoes around and in between the tomato wedges.
3. In a medium bowl, mix about a quarter of the minced anchovies with the Parmesan, panko, half the garlic, the thyme, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Mix in 1 tablespoon of the oil and toss to combine. Sprinkle the crumbs over the tomatoes.
4. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 5 tablespoons olive oil, remaining anchovies, remaining garlic, and the salt, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until the anchovies start to break down and the garlic is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle the mixture over the tomatoes, adding more olive oil if it looks dry.
5. Bake until the top is golden and crispy, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve hot or warm, garnished with the basil or mint.
Reprinted from Dinner in French. Copyright © 2020 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Laura Edwards. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
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