Cherry Tomato Crisp – Hey, why should apples have all the fun?

Cherry Tomato Crisp

Cherry Tomato Crisp

Dessert “crisps” are so fabulous, I decided to try making a savory side dish the same way – Hey! Tomatoes are a fruit, right? – You could probably use diced regular tomatoes, too, if you squeeze out the seeds and gel before dicing.

Mark Bittman, the “How to Cook Everything” guy, had a tomato cobbler that looked interesting, but I wanted a more crunchy topping so I immediately thought of a “crisp.”

The first try came out too sour, so I added a little brown sugar for a rich, molasses sweetness. It is a fun and different side dish, and I’ll make it again.

Parmesan cheese is spendy, I know, so I only used a little, but I recommend using the good stuff – it’s worth it for this dish.

CHERRY TOMATO CRISP

1/2 of a thin baguette
A little olive oil spray
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 pints cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup diced flat leaf parsley
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut bread into very small randomly shaped pieces, no bigger than a marble. (You should have about 4 cups) Spread the bread pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer. Spray generously with oil. Sprinkle on 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder. Turn bread pieces over with a wide spatula and spray and powder again. Bake at top of oven for 5 minutes. Turn bread pieces over and bake another 5 to 8 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and pulse in a food processor until large crumbs (or dice with a large knife.)

Cut tomatoes in half. Stir together the brown sugar, salt and cornstarch. Toss with tomatoes and parsley. Spread tomato mixture in an oiled 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Bake at top of oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle bread crumbs and then Parmesan cheese on top.  Bake another 10 to 12 minutes, until browned and bubbly.

Serve warm. Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.

— posted by Donna

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