Today was a glorious day at my local farmer’s market, because my favorite vendor, Billy’s, has finally arrived. It is not truly summer in Seattle for me unless I have stopped at Billy’s stand and purchased as many heirloom tomatoes as I can possibly carry. Billy has been growing vegetables since 1972, and his dedication and experience are evident in the incredible finished product.
Last summer I waited patiently until Friday, when Billy and his #2 tomatoes showed up at my neighborhood market. I filled my basket with big fat heirloom tomatoes, fresh parsley and basil, deep lavender bell peppers and sweet onions, and carried them all home to make gazpacho. Every week. Neither my husband nor I ever tired of that gazpacho.
I have a feeling I will be making more of that soup this summer, but this week I came across a recipe in my Edible Seattle magazine that looked too good to pass up. If you aren’t yet familiar with Edible Communities I do hope you will pop over to their site and take a look around. I love their podcasts, which encompass many food-related topics, as well as author interviews and more. The local magazine that I get from them is beautiful, well-written and for sure the one magazine I can’t wait to arrive.
This recipe makes use of the glorious tomatoes in season now, as well as the herbs crowding each other for space in my garden. The magazine suggested this dish as a breakfast recipe and I am sure it would be lovely served with eggs scrambled with mascarpone and chives, but I served it with lunch alongside grilled baby Walla Walla sweet onions and the last asparagus of the year.
Basil-Crusted Breakfast Tomatoes
From Edible Seattle
2 large beefsteak (or similar) tomatoes
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped basil
2 tbs chopped fresh thyme
2 tbs chopped fresh chives
about 1/3 cup olive oil
(I also topped mine with a little shredded gruyere)
Slice the tomatoes into 1/2′” slabs and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Mix the breadcrumbs and the herbs together in a shallow bowl.
Heat 3 tbs olive oil in a large, heavy pan (cast iron works well) over medium heat. Press the tomato slices into breadcrumb mixture one at a time, coating both sides of each slice well. Fry about 4 at a time for 4-5 minutes per side., until the breadcrumbs are well browned on each side.
The crust won’t stay intact if you fuss with them, so be patient and dont try to turn them too early. Repeat with additional tomatoes, adding more oil as needed. Serve immediately.