Gratin of Cherry Tomatoes with Ricotta & Basil Topping

And one more tomato recipe Debbi Snook from the PD sent me; she says it’s her favorite tomato recipe, and I understand why.

Gratin of Cherry Tomatoes with Ricotta & Basil Topping
Serves 8

3 Tbsps. olive oil
2 pounds cherry or grape tomatoes (preferably a mixture of red and yellow)
1/4 cup fine dried bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided use
3/4 tsp. salt, divided use
2 to 3 tsps. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 Tbsps. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 425.

Prepare the tomatoes: Choose a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold the tomatoes snugly packed in a single layer. Using 2 tablespoons of the oil, grease bottom and sides of dish, then add tomatoes and roll them around to coat with oil.
Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine crumbs, garlic, 5 tablespoons basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Sprinkle half the mixture over oiled tomatoes; set remainder aside.

Make ricotta-basil mixture: In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, remaining basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, eggs, flour and cream. Stir until well-blended and creamy. Pour mixture over crumb-topped tomatoes.

Assemble, bake grating: Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over gratin, then drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place in preheated oven and bake until the cheese is slightly browned and tomatoes have not yet burst – about 15 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature, spooned onto individual plates.

Recipe adapted from “The Vegetarian Table: France” by Georgeanne Brennan (Chronicle 1995).