When it’s summer and tomato season, I always feel like buying up all the big (or little!) red tomatoes I see at the farmers markets. I can only use up so many in salads, though, so I’m always looking for other tomato recipes I can try.
Look at these baked parmesan tomatoes, from Eating Well. Don’t they look pretty? All cheesy and tomatoey and delicious? One of the reviews said the baked tomatoes tasted like pizza, and who doesn’t love pizza?
The only detour I made from the recipe was to slice my big tomatoes into four thick slices, so they’d look more like that photo. The recipe says to halve them, but my tomatoes were pretty big, so I felt safe making the change.
The results made me sad. They were bland, and the flavors all stayed independent instead of working together to contribute to a yummy whole. Normally, I would be willing to try the recipe again with a few tweaks to the spices, but this dish didn’t have any other redeeming qualities. The tomato part was delicious, because I started with delicious tomatoes, but it was incredibly soggy. The slices were falling apart as I moved them to our dinner plates.
The other thing is, Parmesan isn’t a good melting cheese. The grated cheese I put on the tomato slices stayed in clumps, barely melted, and didn’t brown at all. Why am I putting this cheese in the oven if it’s not going to get melty and brown? That’s the entire point of oven cheese! Looking back at the official Eating Well photo for this recipe, I suspect they cheated and threw on some mozzarella or a shredded “Italian cheese” blend. No way is that straight Parmesan.
Maybe this recipe would work with less-juicy tomatoes. Or with different cheeses. Or with more oregano, or maybe some basil. But there are so many other things to make, and so little time.
Moving on. Pin deleted.