A side of wow

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Sometimes it's the side dishes that make a meal. Sure, baked pork chops or grilled steaks are nice, but if you just throw steamed broccoli next to them, the wow factor fades.

Here is a side dish that goes with just about anything. It's easy to make, nutritious and a good way to get vegetable-haters to take another look.

The recipe is from Eat For Life, an occasional column in the Dispatch Food section.

Warm tomato crisp

Makes 6 servings

Grape tomatoes are half the size of cherry tomatoes. Other differences: The grape tomato is sweeter but also has a thicker skin and contains less liquid. Never refrigerate tomatoes; the chill gives a mealy texture.

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, stems removed
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Place 2 1/2 cups tomatoes in a single layer in prepared baking dish.
  2. Place bread, Parmesan, parsley, thyme and garlic in a food processor. Pulse to coarsely chop the bread. Add oil. Pulse quickly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining 1/2 cup tomatoes, tucking into crumb mixture.
  3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is browned and tomatoes are tender.

Per serving:

  • 80 calories
  • 3 g. protein
  • 8 g. carbohydrates
  • 2 g. fiber
  • 4 g. fat (1 g. saturated)
  • 2 mg. cholesterol
  • 100 mg. sodium

Robin Davis is food editor of The Columbus Dispatch. She oversees the Food section, published each Wednesday, which features recipes, question-and-answer columns and reviews of cookbooks, wines and local eateries.