This is what satisfying and seasonal food looks and tastes like; mouthwatering, ripe tomatoes infused with fresh thyme, seasoned with torn basil leaves and finished with crunchy breadcrumbs and creamy goat cheese. It’s slow food made fast.
For best results choose small, ripe tomatoes and scoop out their pulp before roasting, so that the gratin doesn’t turn out soupy. Use creamy but firm goat cheese that will form a sturdy, bubbling crust. Once it’s roasted, allow the gratin to rest, then grab some bread to sweep through the drippings.
Tip: Swap the thyme for fresh oregano and goat cheese for feta to tweak the recipe.
Summer Tomato and Goat Cheese Gratin with HerbsCourse: MainCuisine: GreekDifficulty: Simple
A splash of live oil and a generous sprinkling of breadcrumbs and goat cheese create a golden, appealing tomato-topper.
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 poblano pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
1/3 cup / 80 ml olive oil plus extra for drizzling
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme
3 lbs / 1.4 kg small tomatoes, halved crosswise
6 tablespoons basil leaves, roughly torn
6 oz / 170 g fresh goat cheese, broken into large crumbs
1/3 cup / 50 g breadcrumbs
1/3 cup / 20 g Parmesan cheese, shredded
Crusty bread (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450F / 230C. Heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet, add sliced onion and pepper (if using), a pinch of salt and thyme sprigs and sauté until onions are soft and translucent. Turn off the heat and let the skillet rest, covered with a lid, until slightly cooled.
- Uncover the skillet and discard the thyme. Spread onion mixture at the bottom of a medium baking dish or ovenproof pan. With a spoon, scoop and discard the seeds and pulp from tomatoes. Season the interiors with salt and pepper and place the tomatoes over the onions, cut side up, in a snug single layer.
- Scatter the tomatoes with half the basil, then top with an even layer of crumbled goat cheese. Top with the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and remaining olive oil.
- Bake until the tomatoes are soft and the goat cheese bubbles and browns in spots, about 20 minutes. Remove the gratin from oven, let rest at least 5 minutes, then top with the remaining basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately, with bread for dipping, if desired.
- Swap the thyme for fresh oregano and goat cheese for feta to tweak the recipe.