Celebrate Tomato Season, Part 2! Broiled Cheesy Tomatoes

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Part 1: Tomaquet, Catalan Tomato Bread

When people interview me about my childhood growing up on the first organic farm in America, they seem to have an endless fascination with what I ate. I know the stereotypes by heart (and have since first grade): Tofu, brown rice, carrot sticks. NOT! Well, maybe some carrot sticks. Here is a CLASSIC Ardie Rodale (my mother) dinner from the summertime. I can’t tell you how many times we had this exact meal: Steak on the grill, corn on the cob, some potato thing like baked, scalloped, or mashed, AND broiled cheesy tomatoes. I don’t know if it has an official name. And I’ve seen something vaguely similar (without the cheese) on a traditional English breakfast plate. But as far as I know this was all my mother’s own and now, thanks to the miracle of the Internet, it can be yours, too. It’s so easy, and totally yum.

Broiled Cheesy Tomatoes


3 ripe tomatoes

1 small onion (white or yellow is traditional) or a half of a bigger one

3 Tablespoons butter

3 Tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup bread crumbs

½ cup grated cheddar cheese



1. Wash and cut the tomatoes in half, and place into a pan that can go under the broiler.

2. Turn on the broiler.

3. Chop the onion and sprinkle on top.

4. Grate the cheese and sprinkle on top.

5. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top.

6. Add a pat of butter and a dose of olive oil on top of each tomato (you can skip this step

if you want, but honestly, why would you want to?)

7. Stick this under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and golden—5 to 10 minutes at MOST. The tomatoes should still taste fresh, but the cheese should be gooey and delicious.

You can serve this with steak on the grill, but even vegetarians can love this one! (Sorry, vegans…although I guess you could try it with organic soy cheese and no butter.)


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7 Responses to Celebrate Tomato Season, Part 2! Broiled Cheesy Tomatoes

  1. Carole Smith July 20, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    This recipe sounds as yummy as the post for the Catalan Tomato Bread on July 18th. Now all I have to do is find some decent tomatoes here in drought ridden Norman, OK!!! Love hearing stories about your childhood!! Thanks again for sharing your recipes!!

  2. Donna in Delaware July 20, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    I’ve had these tomatoes many times for breakfast in Europe. Everytime I am in Europe, if they have them at breakfast, which they usually do, I most certainly choose them, with scrambled eggs and sauteed mushrooms, croissants, brown bread, fresh orange juice, fruit and green tea. They are typically topped with bread crumbs instead of cheese, nevertheless, they are scumptious!

  3. Kristi C July 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Sounds fabulous! I have to comment, though, and I don’t want to sound like a downer, but olive oil should never be used under the broiler, or with any high heat at all. It is a monounsaturated fat, which means when it is an unstable fat and when exposed to high temps its molecular structure is denatured, producing free radicals and carcinogens, defeating the purpose of using this wonderfully healthy fat. Use butter or coconut oil (stable, saturated fats) instead, and use olive oil for salads or topping foods after they’ve already been cooked.
    Kristi Cooke, Nutritrional Therapy Practitioner

  4. maria (farm country kitchen) July 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Yay for butter! 🙂

  5. Kristi C July 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    So here’s a thought – drizzle the olive oil on AFTER the tomatoes come out from under the broiler. Mmmmmmmmm!

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