Rob McDaniel's Baked Tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Breadcrumbs

These bright tomatoes are marinated, baked with goat cheese, and plated over homemade breadcrumbs.


We can't think of a better way to use bright, seasonal tomatoes than by marinating them, baking them with soft, local goat cheese, and plating them over flavorful herbed breadcrumbs. This is a beautiful appetizer for company, or a delicious dish to enjoy by itself. Chef Rob McDaniel of Helen in Birmingham, Alabama, walks through how to create these delectable baked tomatoes. There are some key steps to keep in mind in order for this dish to come together properly. First, is a lesson in patience. Even once the tops and bottoms of the tomatoes are removed and the core is taken out, avoid seasoning too soon. Let them marinate in the baking dish so they can soak up all that flavor and retain their liquid. Season after they have finished marinating. Second, it's important to add the goat cheese after your tomatoes have already been in the oven under the broiler for 10 or 15 minutes. You want the tomatoes to bake properly without the goat cheese melting. It won't stay put on top of the tomatoes if it's under the broiler for that long. You want the creamy goat cheese on top of each tomato for the finished dish. These tomatoes look just as impressive as they taste.

Rob McDaniel Baked Tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Breadcrumbs
Southern Living



  • Day-old bread

  • Herbs

  • Butter


  • 4 large tomatoes

  • 1 cup olive oil

  • sherry vinegar

  • Garlic cloves

  • 6 bay leaves

  • Basil sprigs

  • 4 anchovies

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • 4 Tablespoons goat cheese


  1. Prepare the breadcrumbs. Take day-old bread and cut it up small. Toss in butter and herbs and cook them until they are golden brown. Once they come out of the oven, put them in the food processor until they are small like crumbs.

  2. Put olive oil, sherry vinegar, garlic cloves, bay leaves, basil sprigs, and anchovies in the bottom of a baking dish.

  3. Take off the bottom and top of your tomatoes and remove the core. Place those in the baking dish with the other ingredients to let them marinate for an hour. After one hour, flip the tomatoes over and let them marinate for an additional hour.

  4. After the tomatoes have marinated, season both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Place baking dish with tomatoes in the oven on broil for about 10 to 15 minutes.

  5. Remove tomatoes from the oven and place about 1 tablespoon of goat cheese on each tomato. Place tomatoes back in the oven for 5 minutes or so until they get nice and bubbly. The cheese should have some color to it and you should be able to smell the aroma of basil, garlic, and anchovies. Let tomatoes rest for five minutes.

  6. Add a tablespoon or more of breadcrumbs on the base of a plate. Place tomatoes on top of plate of breadcrumbs (all four on one plate). Drizzle with the olive oil marinade and top with a bit more breadcrumbs.

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