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A fresh take on the simple bread and tomato lunch

By: J.M. HIRSCH The Associated Press
August 9, 2013 Updated: August 9, 2013 at 9:55 am
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photo - This July 15, 2013 photo shows toasted Parmesan tomato bread in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
This July 15, 2013 photo shows toasted Parmesan tomato bread in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead) 

Obviously, the season has a role in this, but lately I've found myself craving bread and fresh tomatoes.

When I was a kid, my go-to summer sandwich was whole-wheat bread smeared thickly with Miracle Whip and topped with hunks of extra-sharp cheddar cheese and a single, thick slab of tomato.

Now that I'm an adult and have a child of my own, I still crave the simple pleasure of bread and tomato. So I decided to create a grown-up version, rich with garlic and rosemary.

But the focus, as it should, remains on the bread and tomatoes.

TOASTED PARMESAN TOMATO BREAD

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Yield: 4 servings

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

Ground black pepper

4 slices sourdough bread

4 large tomatoes

3 ounces Parmesan cheese

Procedure:

Heat the oven to broil.

In a small, sturdy bowl, combine the garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt and black pepper, to taste. Mix well, then use the back of a heavy spoon to mash the garlic and rosemary together to form a paste. This also can be done using a mortar and pestle, or a mini food processor. The rosemary won't mash well; this is fine.

Spread a quarter of the mixture over one side of each slice of bread.

Slice 2 thick slabs out of the center of each tomato. Reserve the tops and bottoms of the tomatoes for another use. Set 2 slabs over each piece of bread. Shave some of the Parmesan over the tomatoes on each slice. Set the assembled bread on a baking sheet and broil on the oven's middle rack until the cheese is just starting the brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

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