I made a similar version of these ages ago and simply fell in love.
The melty delicious cheese, the warm gooey tomato and crunchy bread crumbs… however there were a few things about the original recipe I felt could be improved upon.
So I pretty much changed the whole thing around.
So this is quite different, with the homemade breadcrumbs probably being the most drastic change but also probably the tastiest. You can certainly use store-bought ones, but they have a tendency to get a little soggy or be too dry so I solved that problem by making them. It’s another step, yes…but worth it. They hold up better to the moisture in the tomatoes and give you a good crunch but are still soft at the same time.
- 5 beefsteak tomatoes
- ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh oregano
- 2 thick slices day old rustic sourdough bread or ¾ cup store-bought bread crumbs
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Preheat the oven to 425˚.
- Tear the sourdough bread into small bits and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with a couple tablespoons olive oil, bake for about 20 minutes, tossing about halfway through so they bake evenly.
- Once the bread is toasted remove from the oven and set aside to cool a bit.
- Cut the tomatoes in half, horizontally. Use a small spoon to gently hollow out the inside of the tomatoes, discarding the seeds and reserving the pulp and being careful not to puncture the outer shell. Chop the reserved pulp and put in a medium bowl.
- Place the bread crumbs into a food processor and pulse until you have crumbs and smaller bits.
- Combine the herbs, bread crumbs,cheese, and pepper and mix gently to combine.
- Place the tomato halves in a casserole dish, and fill with the bread crumb mixture.
- Drizzle the top of the tomatoes with olive oil.
- Bake until the tops are browned, about 20 minutes.