I grew up in southern California, and my dad took advantage of our long growing season by keeping a great garden. Dad grew potatoes, lettuce, radishes, onions and lots of tomatoes. If we were lucky enough to have meat on Sunday, Mother would fix this tomato side dish. The sauce gives them a different flavor.
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- 8 to 10 small to medium firm fresh tomatoes
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup crushed saltines
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- CHEESE SAUCE:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash white pepper
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Peel and core tomatoes but leave them whole. Dip each whole tomato in melted butter. In a small bowl, combine saltine crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Roll tomatoes in crumb mixture, gently pressing crumbs onto tomato. Place tomatoes in a single layer in a greased shallow baking dish. If there are any crumbs or butter left, combine them and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Bake at 475° for 15 minutes or until tomatoes begin to brown and are heated through. Watch closely; they burn easily. Meanwhile, for cheese sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add milk all at once; cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat; stir in Parmesan cheese. Serve over tomatoes. Yield: 8-10 servings.
Originally published as Breaded Tomatoes in Reminisce Extra August 1993, p51
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