Recipe: Crispy Crumbed Baked Tomatoes with Pecans & Parmesan

Savor the South Sampler header image

Tomatoes cover photo

Every Tuesday this summer we’re featuring a new recipe on the blog from one of our Savor the South® cookbooks. Each little cookbook in our Savor the South® cookbook collection is a big celebration of a beloved food or tradition of the American South. From buttermilk to bourbon, pecans to peaches, bacon to catfish, one by one each volume will stock a kitchen shelf with the flavors and culinary wisdom of this popular American regional cuisine. Written by well-known cooks and food lovers, each book brims with personality, the informative and often surprising culinary and natural history of southern foodways, and a treasure of some fifty recipes—from delicious southern classics to sparkling international renditions that open up worlds of taste for cooks everywhere. You’ll want to collect them all.

Today’s recipe is from Miriam Rubin’s TomatoesRubin, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, was the first woman to work in the kitchen of the Four Seasons Restaurant. Author of Grains, she writes the food and gardening column “Miriam’s Garden” for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She lives in New Freeport, Pennsylvania. Baked tomatoes are tasty all on their own, but add parmesan and pecans and they’ll be even more mouth-watering!

Don’t forget to “like” the Savor the South® book page on Facebook for more news and recipes. Also, check back here next Tuesday for another Savor the South® Sampler recipe!

Crispy Crumbed Baked Tomatoes with Pecans & Parmesan

These are gorgeous nestled alongside a grilled or baked fish or a juicy steak or as the star of a vegetable plate. Medium- sized round tomatoes or large Romas work best, but cut Romas lengthwise in half instead of crosswise. Good- quality supermarket tomatoes work nicely because baking intensifies their flavor. Don’t be tempted to use store- bought dry bread crumbs here. Making fresh ones is so simple: Tear the bread into rough 2- inch pieces and buzz it in the food processor.
Course: Appetizer
Servings: 8 side-dish servings


  • 8 medium firm-but-ripe tomatoes such as Arkansas Traveler, or Rutgers, or large Roma (about 2 1/2 lbs.), halved crosswise
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt divided
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsps. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs from about 3 slices crusty country-style bread
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans


  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Arrange the tomatoes cut- side up in a baking dish just large enough to hold them. Mix 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper in a cup; sprinkle over the tomatoes.
  • Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Brush a little butter over the cut side of each tomato, leaving some in the skillet. Bake the tomatoes, uncovered, until they are hot, begin to soften, and look juicy on top, 20–25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the scallions and garlic to the butter remaining in the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the scallions are tender, about 2 minutes. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until lightly golden and crisp, 3–5 minutes.
  • Scrape into a medium bowl. Mix in the Parmesan, pecans, and remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt.
  • Spoon some of the crumb mixture atop each tomato half. Bake until the crumbs are browned and heated, 10–12 more minutes. Serve hot.


From TOMATOES: a Savor the South® cookbook by Miriam Rubin. Copyright © 2013 by Miriam Rubin.