Garlic Parmesan Tomatoes

For days now, when I open my Pinterest account, beautiful red, orange, yellow, green and purple hued bulbs of sweetness have flooded my feed.

I have some lovely tomatoes that I picked up from a new farmer friend. Every year, I always look forward to tomato season. There really isn’t a taste quite like a farm fresh, tender fleshed tomato. They’re my favorite just from the garden, still warm from the afternoon sun. A little sprinkle of salt and pepper is just enough to send you to a crimson-induced state of bliss.

I was lucky enough to grow up with a parent who enjoyed gardening, and together we would spend many summer evenings weeding out our vegetable patch. Only when I was an adult did I realize how lucky I was to grow up that way, even in the city. It was at that time that I realized that I grew up in a virtual food desert, and what that means to so many Americans. It became my goal to help erase this problem. I launched my podcast, also called Virginia’s Vittles, to help highlight this issue and to give back some of what I learned from my elders who grew up during The Depression and from my travels abroad.

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Tomatoes aren’t considered a super fruit, and their benefits aren’t that well known. Tomatoes are actually the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which aids in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Vitamin C, potassium, folate, and Vitamin K are also found in tomatoes, making tomato season all the better!

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I loosely based my recipe on this one from jocooks.com, but as always, I modified it to suit my taste.

More cheese, add garlic, substitute fresh herbs that I have in the garden, and making this recipe very open to what’s available to you. This is so easy, though, I hesitate to even call it a recipe.

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the tomatoes into steaks about a quarter inch thick and arrange on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Grate about a cup of Parmesan cheese into a bowl and chop the garlic and herbs. Add the garlic and herbs to the cheese and sprinkle the tablespoon of oil on top.

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Mix together. Spoon the cheese mixture on the tomatoes and drizzle a little oil over the top of each one. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until cheese is just melted and only slightly browned. Drizzle with olive oil after plating.

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This is it guys. What we have waited all year for here in Virginia. Tomato season is in full gear and I intend to take advantage, don’t you?

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Parmesan Tomatoes

Serves 3 to 4

Three medium sized tomatoes, cut into steaks
Two to three cloves garlic
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh herbs; I used basil, oregano, chives and parsley
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the tomatoes into steaks about a quarter inch thick and arrange on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.

Grate about a cup of parmesan cheese into a bowl and chop the garlic and herbs. Add the garlic and herbs to the cheese and sprinkle the tablespoon of oil on top. Mix together.

Spoon the cheese mixture on the tomatoes and drizzle a little oil over the top of each one. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until cheese is just melted and only slightly browned.

Drizzle with olive oil after plating.