I love large heirloom tomatoes for this recipe as they are very flavoursome and hold a lot of pulp, so they don’t go too mushy when cooked. It’s nice to mix a couple of different coloured heirloom tomatoes in to add colour. Fresh breadcrumbs are best for this dish, as you get two different textures – crispy on top, and soft underneath to soak up the beautiful tomato juices. I prefer this dish at room temperature, as the tomatoes are very steamy when hot and a little harder to eat.
If I were to think of something that reminds me of being in southern France it would be this dish. A couple of these tomatoes and a glass of rosé and I am in heaven.
- 3 heirloom tomatoes (or any other large plump variety)
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) extra - virgin olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- 125 ml (½ cup) white wine
- 80 g fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ¼ bunch thyme, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- ¼ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- ¼ bunch marjoram, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C.
- Cut the tomatoes in half crossways and season with some salt.
- Heat half the olive oil in a large, flameproof baking dish over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, cut-side down and cook for 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Turn the tomatoes cut-side up, season with salt, pour over the wine and cook until the liquid is reduced to a glaze.
- Place the breadcrumbs, garlic, herbs, the remaining olive oil and any pan juices in a bowl and rub them together with your hands with a pinch of salt and pepper. It’s important to keep the crumbs loose and handle the mixture very gently so as not to create a dough.
- Scatter the loose, oily crumbs over the tomatoes, then bake for 15–20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden on top and the tomatoes are soft and tender. Spoon over any juices before serving.
Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.
Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.