I eat a lot of tomatoes during the summer, slicing up large heirlooms to make BLTs and popping sweet cherry tomatoes into my mouth by the handful. They’re so good when they’re fresh, that I often don’t cook them before serving them, but I love roasted tomatoes and do manage to set enough aside from time to time to transform them into other delicious summer dishes. These Individual Cherry Tomato Crisps are a fun way to mix up the way you serve tomatoes when they are in season. Like fruit crisps, they’re topped with a crisp, flavorful topping that adds some great texture to the juicy cherries below.
Unlike a fruit crisp, of course, these crisps are savory. The tomatoes are lightly coated with olive oil before going into the ramekins and the topping is seasoned with garlic and Parmesan cheese. The topping is actually made with bread crumbs (or finely chopped bread cubes, if you want a more rustic look), which makes it extremely quick and easy to put together. The bread crumbs/cubes crisp up nicely in the oven. You can use any kind of sandwich bread, from white bread to whole wheat, or a more artisanal loaf, if that is what you have on hand.
As the name suggests, small cherry tomatoes are the best choice for this recipe. They fit nicely in the ramekins and the relatively short baking time is long enough for the tomatoes to become tender and sweet. Some of the tomatoes may burst while they bake, but most will hold their shape. If you don’t have small tomatoes on hand, you could use a slightly larger tomato (not sandwich-sized, however) and cut them in half, but keep in mind that they will release a lot more liquid during baking. They’ll still be tasty, but you’ll have a lot more juice to contend with! Serve these when they are still warm from the oven.
Individual Cherry Tomato Crisps
12-oz cherry tomatoes (approx 2 cups)
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 slices sandwich bread
1/4 cup Parmesan
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375F. Place 4 8-oz ramekins on a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, toss together cherry tomatoes and 2 tbsp olive oil. Divide tomatoes evenly into ramekins (approx 1/2 cup per ramekin)
Finely chop bread into small cubes or whizz in a food processor until bread is turned into breadcrumbs. Place bread in a large bowl and toss with remaining olive oil, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese and salt.
Pack the bread crumb mixture on top of the tomato-filled ramekins.
Bake for 15-19 minutes, until bread is browned. Some tomatoes will burst, all will be tender. Allow to cool slightly before serving.