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Baked Parmesan Tomatoes Recipe

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes Recipe: A Simple and Flavorful Side Dish

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Baked Parmesan Tomatoes are a delightful and easy-to-make side dish that celebrates the natural sweetness of ripe tomatoes while adding a savory and cheesy twist. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a flavorful dish that pairs perfectly with grilled meats, pasta dishes, or as a standalone appetizer. Let’s dive into the recipe and create a mouthwatering dish that’s sure to become a favorite at your table.

Ingredients:

  • 2–3 large beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Prepare Tomatoes: Wash the tomatoes and pat them dry with paper towels. Slice the tomatoes into thick slices, about 1/2-inch thick. Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Season Tomatoes: In a small bowl, combine the shaved Parmesan cheese, dried basil, and dried oregano. Mix well to combine. Sprinkle the Parmesan and herb mixture evenly over the tomato slices, ensuring each slice is generously coated.
  4. Bake: Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and bake the Parmesan tomatoes for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the edges of the tomatoes are slightly caramelized.
  5. Garnish: Remove the baked Parmesan tomatoes from the oven and sprinkle them with freshly chopped Italian parsley for a pop of color and freshness.
  6. Serve: Serve the baked Parmesan tomatoes immediately as a side dish alongside your favorite main course, or enjoy them as a tasty appetizer or snack.

Cooking Notes and Variations

Cooking Tips:

  • Tomato Selection: Choose ripe beefsteak tomatoes for this recipe, as they have a meaty texture and sweet flavor that pairs well with the savory Parmesan cheese and herbs.
  • Cheese Variations: Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese, such as mozzarella or Asiago, for a unique flavor profile. You can also add a sprinkle of breadcrumbs for extra texture.
  • Herb Options: While dried herbs are convenient and add great flavor, you can use fresh herbs if available. Fresh basil and oregano can provide a vibrant taste. Just remember to increase the quantity, as dried herbs are more concentrated.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Side Dish: Serve baked Parmesan tomatoes as a delicious side dish alongside grilled chicken, steak, or fish for a simple and flavorful meal.
  • Appetizer: Arrange the baked Parmesan tomatoes on a platter and serve them as a tasty appetizer at your next dinner party or gathering. They’re sure to impress your guests!
  • Salad Topping: Add sliced baked Parmesan tomatoes to salads for an extra burst of flavor and texture. They pair particularly well with mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette, and fresh mozzarella.
  • Pasta Complement: Pair these tomatoes with pasta dishes. They can be mixed into pasta or served on the side with a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

Storage and Reheating:

  • Storage: Store any leftover baked Parmesan tomatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
  • Reheating: To reheat, place them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 5-7 minutes, or until warmed through. You can also reheat them in the microwave, but the oven will help retain their texture better.

Variations:

  • Caprese Style: Add slices of fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of balsamic glaze before serving for a Caprese-style twist.
  • Spicy Kick: Sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes over the tomatoes before baking for a spicy version.
  • Garlic Lovers: Add minced garlic to the Parmesan and herb mixture for an extra garlicky flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I use other types of tomatoes for this recipe?
    • While beefsteak tomatoes are recommended for their size and meaty texture, you can certainly use other varieties such as Roma or vine-ripened tomatoes. Keep in mind that the baking time may vary slightly depending on the size and moisture content of the tomatoes.
  2. Can I use grated Parmesan cheese instead of shaved?
    • Yes, grated Parmesan cheese can be used as a substitute for shaved Parmesan. However, shaved Parmesan tends to melt more evenly and creates a nicer presentation with larger cheese shreds.
  3. Can I add other toppings to the baked Parmesan tomatoes?
    • Absolutely! Feel free to get creative with additional toppings such as minced garlic, chopped fresh basil, diced bell peppers, or even a drizzle of balsamic glaze for added flavor and visual appeal.
  4. How do I store leftovers?
    • If you have any leftover baked Parmesan tomatoes, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat them in the oven or microwave until warmed through before serving.
  5. Can I freeze baked Parmesan tomatoes?
    • While it’s technically possible to freeze baked Parmesan tomatoes, their texture may become watery and mushy upon thawing. For best results, enjoy them fresh or refrigerate any leftovers for later consumption.
  6. Are baked Parmesan tomatoes keto-friendly or low-carb?
    • Yes, baked Parmesan tomatoes are keto-friendly and low-carb, making them suitable for individuals following ketogenic or low-carbohydrate diets. However, be mindful of portion sizes and the carb content of other ingredients if you’re closely monitoring your carb intake.
  7. Can I make this recipe dairy-free?
    • Yes, you can make dairy-free baked Parmesan tomatoes by using a vegan Parmesan cheese alternative or omitting the cheese altogether. You can also experiment with dairy-free herb-infused oils for added flavor.
  8. What are some serving suggestions for baked Parmesan tomatoes?
    • Baked Parmesan tomatoes are incredibly versatile and can be served in various ways. Enjoy them as a side dish with grilled meats, toss them with pasta for a simple yet flavorful meal, or serve them on crostini as an elegant appetizer. They also make a delicious topping for salads or pizzas.
  9. Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
    • While baked Parmesan tomatoes are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, you can prepare the tomato slices and cheese mixture ahead of time and assemble them just before baking. This can help save time when entertaining or meal prepping.
  10. Are baked Parmesan tomatoes gluten-free?
    • Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free ingredients such as certified gluten-free Parmesan cheese and ensure that all other ingredients are free from gluten contamination.

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes are a delightful side dish that celebrates the flavors of ripe tomatoes and savory Parmesan cheese. With just a handful of ingredients and a few simple steps, you can create a delicious and satisfying dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you serve them alongside your favorite main course or enjoy them as a standalone appetizer, these baked Parmesan tomatoes are sure to be a hit with your family and friends. So, gather your ingredients and give this recipe a try for a flavorful and enjoyable culinary experience!

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