End-of-Summer Tomato Crumble

I keep seeing “tomato crumble” recipes, and I’ve generally let my eyes scan right past them.  It’s not perhaps for the best of reasons, just:  why would I want a crumble that was not a fruit dessert?  (Yes, yes, tomatoes are technically fruit, but you know what I mean).

But today I realized that my motley mix of cherry-red, striped green, and mustard yellow heirloom tomatoes had been pretty badly bruised en route home from the grocery store.  You can’t waste heirloom tomatoes (or any tomatoes), especially not in September in Massachusetts.  You just can’t.

Why this crumble idea came back to me now, I don’t know.  But I’m glad it did.  Flavorful with the best summer herbs, but still fresh-tasting, because the tomatoes’ relatively short stay in the oven leaves them with a soft-but-firm texture.  I didn’t have a lot of tomatoes to use up, but enough to share with my toddler, who surprisingly was clamoring for more.  Hence the only photo I can offer you is this one.

It went fast.

It’s a quick post because tomato time is winding down, I want to get this out to you, and it’s a Sunday night.  I hope you too are enjoying the last juicy moments of tomato season, and perhaps trying them in new ways too.

End-of-summer tomato crumble

  • 1-1/2 to 2 lb tomatoes (750g-900g or s0), chopped.
  • 1t dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper

Crumble topping

  • 1c bread crumbs
  • 1t dried marjoram
  • 1t (scant) dried sage
  • 1/4c parmesan, grated (optional)
  • 2-3T olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).  Mix the tomatoes, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl.  Spread in a gratin dish (or other oven safe dish).

Make the crumble by stirring the bread crumbs, sage, marjoram, and parmesan if using together.  Add the olive oil and stir until all crumbs are moistened.  Sprinkle over the tomatoes.

When the oven is preheated, bake for 20 minutes.  (While I didn’t do so, this dish would take well to being assembled beforehand, though perhaps I’d wait until baking to sprinkle the crumble on top).

Note:  I used dried herbs because I had just gotten everyone inside and started lunch–and I didn’t want to chance erasing my gains by running out back again.  You can substitute if you have more forethought than I.

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15 thoughts on “End-of-Summer Tomato Crumble

  1. I’ve never bothered trying to make a tomato crumble but you’ve changed my mind. I’ve got some tomatoes that are getting a little softer than I’d like so this is a great time for them. Thanks for the idea. And the empty plate looks really good. Like the end of a really good meal. 🙂

    • Thanks–yes, mine were the same–not crisp enough to eat fresh, but perfect for cooking. Thanks for the comment on the picture: I was so shocked my toddler wanted it that I didn’t realize I hadn’t taken a photo until too late!

  2. The empty pan is a good sign of a lovely dish! I love anything with the words crumble, cobbler or crisp in it, whether savory or sweet. Your tomato crumble looks delicious and I’m so glad you decided to give it a go.

  3. I think I made a tomato crumble only once in my life, many years ago. The problem was it was sweet and savoury at the same time, with hazelnuts… Very original and very uneatable. Since then I kept off tomato crumbles, but yours sounds so fabulous, I think I would love to give it a chance one more time, without sugar and without hazelnuts 😉 (And the empty dish is very convincing too!)

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