Stuffed Tomatoes with Parmesan, Garlic, and Basil
from: American Classics, by the editors of Cooks Illustrated Magazine (2002).
To make bread crumbs, grind any hunk of stale country, Italian, or French bread in the food processor.
6 large for, ripe tomatoes, 1/8 inch sliced off stem end, cored, and seeded.
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup coarse, homemade breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon plus 3 TBS olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup fresh basil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsps)
ground black pepper
1. Sprinkle the inside of each tomato with salt and place it upside down on several layers of paper towels; let stand to remove any excess moisture, about 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, toss the breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon olive oil, Parmesan, basil, garlic, and pepper to taste in a small bowl; set aside. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position, and heat to 375 degrees; line the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with foil.
3. Roll up several sheets of paper towels and pat the inside of each tomato dry. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer in the baking dish. Brush the cut edges with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Mound the stuffing onto the tomatoes (about 1/4 cup per tomato); drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake until the tops are golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.