- Servings: 6.
In this recipe the bread crumbs are toasted in advance of assembling and baking the crisp. This gives the topping its best flavor and also keeps its texture intact.
While you could make this with small grape tomatoes, you'll get a better result with the larger, round cherry tomatoes because they're less sweet, have more juice, and are more substantial when they cook.
An option with this recipe is to add grated Parmesan to the bread crumbs before baking.
- 3 to 4 cups toasted bread crumbs made with a small loaf of white or whole wheat day-old bread and 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes, stems removed but left whole
- 1/2 cup minced red onion (about 1/2 large onion)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Optional: 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Using a blender or food processor equipped with its steel blade, process the pieces of bread into small pieces. It's okay if the pieces are irregular in size -- just don't pulverize completely. Transfer to a rimmed sheet pan and spread out in a single layer.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring the crumbs about half-way through the toasting, until the crumbs are golden brown.
- Transfer the crumbs to a large bowl and drizzle the olive oil over them, stirring to disperse the oil. You may need to add a bit more oil depending on how many crumbs you have but your goal is to get a slight absorption of the oil throughout all the crumbs -- not to make them soft or glossy but to just take off the dry, toasted finish.
- Add a generous pinch of salt and stir again.
- In an 8-inch ovenproof baking dish combine the cherry tomatoes, red onion, garlic and olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper. Toss to combine and try to arrange the tomatoes in a single layer but with the tomatoes close together.
- Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs over the top of the tomatoes, covering them completely.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the tomatoes throw off juice and are softened under the crumbs.
- Optional: you can add 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan to the bread crumbs, combining well, and then use this as the topping on the crisp.