Lauren Groveman a recipe for delicious living

Savory Broiled Tomato Slices

(June 21, 2007)
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June asked Lauren:

Dear Lauren,

My husband loves tomatoes and, in the summer, will often buy too many. I'm never sure what to do with them all. Since I usually end up throwing some out, I thought I would ask if there's something interesting to do (other than making sauce) with ripe tomatoes. Thanks a lot.

Lauren says...

Yes, there are lots of things to do with an over abundance of tomatoes. Ripe tomatoes can be sliced and used as the star ingredient in a savory tart (fully pre-bake the tart shell until golden), placed over a layer of goat cheese mixed with some whipped cream cheese, minced garlic and fresh oregano. Brush the tops of the sliced tomatoes with some fruity olive oil and, after baking at 425°F until the edges of the tomatoes are starting to char (about 25 minutes), remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool to just warm before serving, scattered with some slivered fresh basil leaves on top.

Another easy (and a bit retro) way to use tomatoes is to stuff them. To do this, cut out the stem end and then cut each tomato into four or six wedges (depending on the size of the tomatoes), going from the stem end down, without going all the way through the bottom peel. Then, the wedges will fall away from each other (like an opened flower) still attached by the bottom skin. You would just place a generous scoop of a savory salad like one featuring chicken, tuna, egg, shrimp or crab in the center of the opened tomato.

As far as side dishes go (this would be a perfect pair to lamb chops), you can slice off the top quarter of each tomato, allowing one medium tomato per person. Then spread the cut surface with some tapenade (a piquant black olive paste) and then with some dried breadcrumbs that have some minced garlic that's been sautéed just to soften in some extra-virgin olive oil (add some chopped flat-leaf parsley, too). You'd bake the tomatoes, seasoned side up, on a shallow baking sheet in a preheated 375°F oven for about 25 minutes. When done, the tomatoes should be hot throughout but still hold their shape and the crumbs should be golden. Another wonderful thing to do with really sweet, perfectly ripe tomatoes (again, perfect with lamb or grilled fish) is to slice the tomatoes thickly (really thickly) and then slather the slices with a combination of mayo and country-style mustard. After dotting the top with some capers, the tomatoes get broiled until the topping bubbling and luscious looking. These Savory Broiled Tomato Slices have become a real favorite in our house so it's my pleasure to give you an "official" written recipe!

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Savory Broiled Tomato Slices

Yield: serves 4

broiled tomatoes

Here's an incredibly easy side dish that's colorful and truly full-flavored. This is a perfect partner to roast or grilled lamb or a simple (not saucy) fish dish.

    Special Equipment:

  • Shallow, oven to table heat proof pan
    Ingredients:

  • 2 to 4 ripe beef steak tomatoes, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 generous tablespoon country-style Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons capers (preferably salt-packed), rinsed well, drained and dried

1) To prepare the tomatoes for cooking: If the tomatoes are very large, cut off the top (the stem end) and then cut the tomato into two very thick slices. If the tomatoes are medium size, then slice off the top and bottom and use the rest as one thick slice. Place each slice (there should be four thick tomato slices) on a shallow oven to table baking pan. (I use a flat cast-iron fajitas pan.)

2) To season the tomatoes: Mix the mayo and mustard, then stir in the chives and season with pepper to taste. Spread each tomato slice with the mixture and dot the tops with capers.

3) To broil: Preheat the broiler and broil the tomatoes, seasoned sides up, until hot and the topping is bubbling and golden. Serve hot.

    Lauren Logo Timing is Everything

  • The mustard mixture can be assembled early in the day and kept refrigerated, well covered.

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Lauren Groveman recipes have been featured in many national magazines and local newspapers. Her books "The I love to Cook Book: Rediscovering the Joy of Cooking for Family and Friends" and "Lauren Groveman's Kitchen, Nurturing Food for Family and Friends" are available through Amazon.com.

For in depth information on Lauren Groveman as a writer, teacher, TV & radio host, as well as her recipes and cooking tips visit her website at www.laurengroveman.com

Lauren is a Larchmont resident. She is happily married and blessed with three wonderful children.