This easy recipe for wonderfully flavorful broiled tomatoes with Parmesan cheese is ready in about 25 minutes.
They are really good as an appetizer or a side dish. I also like to serve them for breakfast or brunch with eggs and biscuits.
I adore fresh tomatoes. Especially firm, sweet summer tomatoes. Those mealy pink tomatoes that you can buy in winter are just depressing. My favorite way to eat tomatoes, by far, is Caprese salad. So simple, yet so fresh and delicious.
When you make these broiled tomatoes, you sacrifice an element of sweetness and freshness, but you gain lots of concentrated flavor. Cooking tomatoes really brings out their unique taste. Instead of sweet, they become tangy and piquant.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh tomatoes: Try to find plump, bright-red tomatoes. Not those pink mealy ones. 🍅
Olive oil spray: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead. Another tasty option is to use melted butter.
To season: I like to use kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and dried thyme.
Parmesan: You can use either finely grated or coarsely shredded cheese. They are different, but both work in this recipe.
Making these broiled tomatoes is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- You start by preheating your broiler on high and positioning an oven rack 6 inches below the heating element - not directly below.
- Now, cut the tomatoes in half. Place them in a broiler-safe baking dish.
- Spray the tomatoes with olive oil (or brush them with melted butter) and sprinkle them with the spices and parmesan.
- Broil until the cheese is golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Serve them immediately. They're also good at room temperature.
Make sure to keep a close eye on the tomatoes while they're in the oven. Even when not directly under the heating element, they can still burn quite easily. Broiling is always challenging in this way, and this recipe is no different.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. You can bake the tomatoes in a 400F oven until they are tender and the cheese is melted. This should take 10-15 minutes.
No, there's no need to peel them. Their skin is thin and it also softens enough in the oven that it isn't bothersome when eating them.
You could if you don't mind the carbs/gluten and would like the added crunch. Regular breadcrumbs work and also panko breadcrumbs. But they're not actually necessary and the dish is very good without them.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Use melted butter instead of olive oil.
- Vary the seasonings you use. Good options include onion powder and dried oregano.
- Use different cheese. Shredded cheddar and crumbled feta are good options.
These tomatoes are best served warm, but they are also good at room temperature.
Although they are a classic brunch dish, I actually like to serve them as a side dish to meat or fish. I often serve them when I make London Broil.
They are also excellent as a side dish to baked salmon. I broil them first, loosely cover them in foil to keep them warm on the kitchen counter, then bake the fish.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days, in an airtight container, and gently reheat them in the microwave on 50% power. They won't be as good as when served fresh, but they'll still be quite tasty.
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- 2 tomatoes large and firm
- Olive oil spray
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon of fine salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ cup dry-grated Parmesan
- Preheat your broiler on high. Position an oven rack 6 inches below the heating element (not directly below).
- Cut the tomatoes in half. Cut a tiny sliver from the bottom of each half, so that the tomatoes can stand upright without wobbling.
- Spray the tomatoes all over with olive oil. Place them on a broiler-safe rimmed baking dish, cut side up.
- Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme. Top with Parmesan, 2 tablespoons for each tomato half.
- Broil until the cheese is golden brown, 3-5 minutes.
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