Total Time
1hr
Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins

A delicious vegetarian version that pairs well with inexpensive but good red or white wines. If your tomatoes are not very moist you can omit some of the draining time, like I did. I made this with a processed gruyere cheese (which was all the store had) and Italian flavored bread crumbs. Can be served as canapes (quartered) or makes six sandwiches. Published in the New York Times.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 lbs tomatoes, meaty and ripe, peeled, seeded, juiced and coarsely chopped (dip in boiling water for 30 seconds to peel easily)
  • 12 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons basil leaves, minced
  • 14 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 slices white bread (firm, crusts trimmed if desired)
  • 4 -6 ounces gruyere cheese (thinly sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons oil

Directions

  1. With a food processor running, drop in garlic until minced. Turn off machine and add tomatoes. Pulse until finely chopped. (This step can also be done manually if preferred, which is how I did it).
  2. Place mixture in a fine sieve over a bowl, stir in salt and allow to drain 30 minutes, pressing down on tomatoes from time to time.
  3. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl and stir in basil and breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Arrange half the bread slices on a work surface and spread with tomato mixture. Cover with a thin layer of the cheese and top with remaining bread.
  5. Film a large non-stick skillet with oil. Place as many sandwiches as will fit comfortably and fry over medium-low or medium heat, turning to brown both sides and pressing down lightly with a spatula until golden on both sides. (About 1 1/2 - 2 minutes per side.) Remove to paper towel to drain.
  6. Repeat if necessary while finished sandwiches are kept in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven to be kept warm. Quarter sandwiches on the diagonal for canapes.
Most Helpful

C'est formidable! I LOVED this my lovely catty's friend! I also added some thinly slcied tomatoes to the sandwich for another layer of texture.......and as my basil is not out yet, I added parsley instead of basil. Made for my lunch today and served with a small green salad and yet MORE fresh tomatoes, I LOVE them! A great veggie alternative to the ussual ham croque monsieur - merci! FT:-)

French Tart May 26, 2009

I made these as party canapes and they disappeared the fastest! I added a slice of ham to half of them for those who preferred the traditional croque monsieur. I also dipped the sandwiches in an egg white/skim milk wash (ala French toast) before frying and quartering, which made them nice and gooey, but still held up well as finger food. Note, I would avoid if you only have bland, out-of-season tomatoes.

MommyKat November 26, 2006

Very tasty indeed! We enjoyed these as part of an appetizer meal and they were a big hit. Loved the basil and garlic flavours. Thanks for a lovely recipe!

Fairy Nuff July 13, 2006