Living in Jersey in the summertime certainly has it’s advantages and by that I mean an abundance of fresh Jersey tomatoes! Oh yes! Ripe, plump, juicy, delicious tomatoes……there’s nothing quite like a Jersey tomato and I hope that everyone gets the chance to taste at least one Jersey tomato in their lifetime. You will savor the flavor for sure! According to the state Department of Agriculture, in 2012 New Jersey farmers produced almost 57 million pounds of tomatoes. Grown on 2,700 acres of farmland, the crop was valued at almost $31 million dollars and was the Garden State’s third biggest crop, surpassed only by blueberries and peaches. My twist on Tomatoes Provençal has the typical olive oil, garlic, Parmesan and breadcrumbs but I changed it up a bit by using panko breadcrumbs and adding bocconcini….and it’s mighty tasty, if I must say so myself! I hope you think so too!
3 large tomatoes, preferably Jersey tomatoes, about 1 lb. 4 oz. total weight, each sliced crosswise into 4 slices
2 oz. bocconcini, sliced, about 1/4 cup
1/2 cup seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Coat 6-cup baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Arrange tomatoes and bocconcini in single layer in prepared baking dish, overlapping slightly, as shown.
3. In small bowl combine Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic, chopped parsley, olive oil and cracked black pepper.
4. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over tomatoes and bocconcini.
5. Bake 20 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden and tomatoes are tender.
6. Garnish with fresh parsley leaves.
Makes 6 servings.