Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

Category, , DifficultyBeginner

Tomato is an edible berry that often appears in red color, but there are also other color variations like green, orange, yellow, purple, etc. It is eaten either raw or cooked, and as part of many sauces, salads, dishes, ketchup, tomato soups, and drinks.

When it comes to production, oftentimes it is produced in the greenhouses all year long. They grow on weak vines that are from three to 10 feet tall.

Therefore, they need to be supported in order to keep the tomatoes on them. When it comes to the size of tomatoes, they are versatile, so they can be from half an inch to four inches wide.

Interestingly, tomatoes are actually fruits but most people call them vegetables since they don't contain a lot of sugar. The same goes for other similar fruits like squashes, bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, and avocados.

Tomato origins

Tomato's wild ancestor grew in western South America and they were rather small, the size of peas. They were domesticated by the Aztecs in Mesoamerica, but it is unknown when this happened.

All we know that in 500 BC it was already part of cuisine in southern Mexico. When the Spanish came to these parts came and conquested the place of today's Mexico City, conquistador Hernán Cortés became fond of tomato and he took it back with him to Europe.

From then on, tomatoes were distributed across the whole European continent, including Italy where it became an important part of their cuisine. As the Spanish colonized the world, they took the tomatoes with them. They took it to the Caribbean, the Philippines, and the whole Asian continent.

Today, the largest producers of tomatoes are China and India, followed by the United States, Egypt, and Turkey. Tomato is an essential ingredient in many dishes like pasta sauces and pizza. It is important to know that tomatoes are supposed to be kept at room temperature.

If you keep tomatoes in the fridge they will lose most of their taste and they will become watery. It is also recommended to keep them with their stem because they will last longer.

Also, there is the sun-dried version of the tomatoes, in which they are left in the sun until they lose water, but they keep the important nutrients. These tomatoes are either kept in jars often covered with olive oil or they are kept or sold in bags.

Types of tomatoes

There are a lot of different types of tomatoes since it is a versatile fruit. But there are a couple of the most common types of tomato. They are different in shape, color, and size.

1. Red Beefsteak Tomatoes - red, large, firm, round, juicy, and meaty. Since it has a mild flavor, it is used for various sauces, used as a part of fresh salads, and they are the fresh addition to many meals. They are the best choice for sauces, salsa, dips, grilling, and burgers.

2. Green Beefsteak Tomatoes - firm, large, meaty, round, with light green color and tangy flavor. It is used for sandwiches, salsa, sauces, juices, desserts, grilling, and pickling.

3. Grape Tomatoes - meaty, grape-shaped, crisp, and juicy, with sweet (red ones) to tangy (yellow ones) flavor and various colors. A great choice for salads, sandwiches, grilling, snacking (raw), roasting, cooking, and sandwiches.

4. Cherry Tomatoes - they also come in a variety of colors (from red, orange, yellow, to even purple ones). Unlike the grape tomatoes that have thick skin, cherry tomatoes have medium skin and they are more tender and snappy. Their taste is sweet and they are juicy and crispy, which makes them a great choice for salads, sauces, skewer dishes, grilling, and snacking (raw).

5. Roma Tomatoes - red, firm, meaty, with a tangy flavor and a small number of seeds. They are good for roasting, making them into sauces, stews, tomato pastes, or as part of salads and sandwiches.

6. Heirloom Tomatoes - juicy, meaty, firm, with flavor that varies from tangy to sweet, heirloom tomatoes come in a lot of different textures and colors. They are eaten raw, as part of sandwiches or salads, they make a great side dish, whether roasted or grilled.

7. Cocktail Tomatoes - sweet in taste, juicy, with soft walls and a small number of seeds. It is great for pasta, sauces, roasting, stuffing meat or vegetables, or as part of fresh salads.

But, there are many, many versions of this popular fruit, like Campari tomatoes (or tomatoes on vine), pear tomatoes, Brandywine tomatoes, Cherokee purple tomatoes, etc.

Skinning the tomatoes

Tomato skin might be the reason why some people don't eat tomatoes.

It could be a matter of taste or even digestion (it might be a bit difficult to digest). If you are one of those people, you should know that you don't need to exclude tomatoes from your diet. You can peel them. It might seem like an impossible thing to do. But, really, it is quite simple. All you need is a knife and boiling water.

Pour enough water in a pot to cover the tomatoes. Place it on the stovetop to boil. Take a knife and make an "X" on the bottom of the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water for about a minute. Take them out and place them in the cold or iced water for just a second. Then peel the skin with your fingers or a knife, starting from the "X" you made at the bottom. The skin will just glide down.

And there you go, you have skinless tomatoes in just a couple of minutes. You can use the peeled tomatoes just about for anything. The recipes for sauces or juices usually require peeled tomatoes, but you can use it for whatever you want.

Reasons to bake the tomatoes

In case you were wondering why should you bake the tomatoes in the first place, here is why. Yes, we should eat tomatoes fresh and we do.

But every once in a while, it is nice to eat something a little bit different. While the tomato sauces are tasty, the baked tomatoes bring something different to the table. It is different from the fresh tomato, it has less liquid (so it is not watery) but it keeps the flavor and even intensifies the flavor.

Besides the intensified flavor, another major reason for baking the tomatoes is - lycopene. This antioxidant is great for fighting cancer, for sunburns, to protect heart health, helps to reduce pain, helps eyesight, etc. And fresh tomatoes have plenty of it.

However, the process of baking the tomatoes significantly increases the lycopene content in the tomato. So, baking tomatoes is an even healthier option than eating fresh tomatoes. Another thing you should know is that the presence of fat can help improve the lycopene's availability.

So, if you add olive oil or avocado, you will increase the chance of lycopene getting into your blood.

baked parmesan tomatoes

Yields1 Serving
Prep Time5 minsCook Time15 minsTotal Time20 mins

Ingredients for Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
 4 Tomatoes - halved horizontally
 1 ½ tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 ½ cup Parmesan - freshly grated
 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
 2 tbsp Onion - finely chopped
 1 tsp Oregano
 Salt
 Pepper

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
1

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes are a great side dish and you can combine it with everything. Juicy tomatoes with the delicious melted parmesan cheese are simply yummy. But, not only is it a delicious side dish, but it is also super simple to make. In the summertime, there are a lot of tomatoes around and this delicious vegetable (more precisely, fruit) is not only used fresh or in a salad or tomato sauce. You can prepare oven-baked tomatoes fast and at the same time, provide yourself and others a healthy dish. Therefore, use the parchment paper or foil to avoid the additional fat. This will also help you minimize the cleaning afterward. Besides the tomatoes and parmesan cheese, I used the extra virgin olive oil, onion, and balsamic vinegar in this recipe. Try it out and you won't be disappointed.

tomatoes

Preheat the oven
2

Before you start making the baked tomatoes, you need to preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

oven

Assemble the tomatoes
3

1. Firstly, place the tomatoes on the baking sheet, the cut-side facing up, so you can put the other ingredients
2. Secondly, sprinkle the tomatoes with parmesan cheese, onion, oregano, salt, and pepper
3. Thirdly, drizzle them with oil and balsamic vinegar

baked parmesan tomatoes

Cook the tomatoes
4

Bake the parmesan tomatoes until the tomatoes become tender. They are usually done after about 15 minutes of baking.

Usually, this is a perfect side dish for you to serve with meat, salmon, pasta, or any main dish you wish to pair it with.

Serve the tomatoes with the main dish and enjoy it.

baked parmesan tomatoes

 

Ingredients

Ingredients for Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
 4 Tomatoes - halved horizontally
 1 ½ tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 ½ cup Parmesan - freshly grated
 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
 2 tbsp Onion - finely chopped
 1 tsp Oregano
 Salt
 Pepper

Directions

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
1

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes are a great side dish and you can combine it with everything. Juicy tomatoes with the delicious melted parmesan cheese are simply yummy. But, not only is it a delicious side dish, but it is also super simple to make. In the summertime, there are a lot of tomatoes around and this delicious vegetable (more precisely, fruit) is not only used fresh or in a salad or tomato sauce. You can prepare oven-baked tomatoes fast and at the same time, provide yourself and others a healthy dish. Therefore, use the parchment paper or foil to avoid the additional fat. This will also help you minimize the cleaning afterward. Besides the tomatoes and parmesan cheese, I used the extra virgin olive oil, onion, and balsamic vinegar in this recipe. Try it out and you won't be disappointed.

tomatoes

Preheat the oven
2

Before you start making the baked tomatoes, you need to preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

oven

Assemble the tomatoes
3

1. Firstly, place the tomatoes on the baking sheet, the cut-side facing up, so you can put the other ingredients
2. Secondly, sprinkle the tomatoes with parmesan cheese, onion, oregano, salt, and pepper
3. Thirdly, drizzle them with oil and balsamic vinegar

baked parmesan tomatoes

Cook the tomatoes
4

Bake the parmesan tomatoes until the tomatoes become tender. They are usually done after about 15 minutes of baking.

Usually, this is a perfect side dish for you to serve with meat, salmon, pasta, or any main dish you wish to pair it with.

Serve the tomatoes with the main dish and enjoy it.

baked parmesan tomatoes

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
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