I'm one of those people who, as soon as I walk into a grocery store, heads to the recipe cards for inspiration. If I don't find a recipe that interests me, one of the pictures usually sparks an idea. The original recipe for this dish came off one of those cards. I played around with it a bit to suit our tastes, but everyone agrees it's a keeper!
I was really bummed the first time I tried it because it was on Thanksgiving a few years back, and there was sooo much food on the table, my sister and I were the only ones who even tried them. We both loved them, but I wanted to know what all the guys thought. I was further bummed when it came time for the traditional Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwiches...I decided that rather than going with the dressing, cranberry sauce, etc., on mine, I would include a couple of the leftover tomatoes and use a chipotle mustard I had in the fridge. Ohhh myyy Goddd! That was awesome! I had it again for lunch the next day, but that was when I got bummed - I realized the turkey was gone and I never had my traditional sandwich. I was tempted to make another turkey just for that later in the week but resisted.
The original recipe called for grape tomatoes, but by the time you cut them in half, dress and cook them down, I couldn't imagine being left with anything but a platter of mush! I found a beautiful container of small red, yellow, and orange tomatoes and used those. I haven't come across the orange tomatoes again when making this recipe, so I just get whatever variety of smallish tomatoes I can. Last time, I could only find small reds, so I bought one huge yellow tomato and cut it into wedges. For an additional splash of color, I threw in a few tomatillos. I had never eaten a tomatillo before, so I wasn't sure it would even be in the same ballpark, but it turned out great. I also added onions somewhere down the line...and yes, when I made them for the second time, the guys all tried and loved them!
3 garlic cloves (I use jarred minced garlic w/red pepper for heat)
2 T EVOO
A dozen or so small tomatoes of mixed colors
One onion, sliced
2 corn muffins
1 T dried basil
Fresh black pepper
Fresh basil chiffonade for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400. Slice a garlic clove in half and rub the cut sides on the bottom of 9” glass pie plate or casserole. Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom. If you're using the jarred minced onion like me, dunk a pastry brush in the jar and brush that all over the dish. Cut the tomatoes in half, cutting some in one direction and some in the other. If you're using cloves of garlic, pulse them in the food processor, then tear up the corn muffins and toss them in with the basil, salt, and pepper and give it a quick whirl to form an even crumb. Drizzle in about 1T EVOO and pulse again to distribute the oil.
Place half of the tomatoes in the baking dish, cut side up, alternating the colors for visual appeal. Sprinkle on half of your onion slices and half the crumb mixture. Top with the remaining onions, then with the remaining tomato halves, cut-side down, and sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and bake for 25-30" until tender.
Don't forget, if you've got any leftovers, they go great on turkey sandwiches!! Those pics were from the first time I made it. Here's the version with the huge yellow tomato, tomatillos and onions...