Although it seems almost sinful to cook beautifully ripe tomatoes at the height of the summer, this dish intensifies the flavor of the tomatoes. A classic gratin is usually a dish of layered vegetables topped with cheese and buttery breadcrumbs. My version is a simple dish with large juicy tomato slices, a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, fresh herbs and a splash of balsamic vinegar. This dish is a perfect side for a hearty meal or a nice topping for a summer salad.
- 2 pounds beefsteak tomatoes add cherry and grape tomatoes too
- 2-3 tablespoons extra-vigin olive oil
- Kosher or sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs such as basil, scallions, thyme extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Splash of balsamic vinegar
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer in a glass or ceramic baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Drizzle the olive oil evenly over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Top with the fresh chopped herbs. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes start to soften and are lightly browned. Coat the tomatoes with the freshly grated parmesan cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese melts. Serve with a splash of good balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of more fresh herbs.