I wait all year long for farm fresh tomatoes. Living in Lancaster County, I’m a stone’s throw from Washington Boro and its world-famous jetstar and heirloom varieties. But how many caprese salads can a person eat in one summer? My boyfriend’s answer would be “all of them.” I’d like to agree with him, but I wanted to create something different that has less cheese. Mission accomplished. Luscious thick slices of room-temperature tomatoes, crunchy, garlicky breadcrumbs, and freshly chopped herbs…yes please!
For this salad, I prefer using Udi’s gluten-free bread to make the breadcrumbs for the topping. No matter what you choose, use fresh bread – it’s just better. Here’s what you need and how to put this recipe together:
RECIPE: Herbed Breadcrumb Topping
- 2 slices of bread (pulsed in a food processor until crumbs form)
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 heaping TBSP chopped basil
- 1 heaping TBSP chopped flat leaf parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano for garnish
- balsamic glaze* for garnish
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and saute shallots until they become translucent. Add garlic to pan, followed by breadcrumbs. Toss until breadcrumbs appear evenly coated in olive oil. If they appear too dry, drizzle a little extra. Stir over medium heat for 6-7 minutes so they brown slowly and become crispy. Remove from heat and stir in chopped herbs. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.
Slice tomatoes and arrange on plate. Sprinkle liberally with breadcrumb mixture. Top with a couple shavings of freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, drizzle with balsamic glaze and finish with a couple turns of freshly cracked black pepper. Enjoy!
*NOTE: Balsamic glaze can be found in the vinegar aisle of the grocery store. You can reduce balsamic at home if you wish, but personally I’m not a fan of what that process does to my nose or my house.