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.
- 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)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons basil leaves, minced
- 1⁄4 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
- 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).
- 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.
- Transfer tomatoes to a bowl and stir in basil and breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:-)
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.
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!