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Tomatoes with Pesto Oil

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Ripe tomatoes drizzled with fragrant basil oil and topped with crisp Parmesan-accented bread crumbs make a simple and refreshing first course.

  1. 1/2 cup light olive oil
  2. 3/4 cup coarse stale bread crumbs
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  4. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 1/3 cup packed basil leaves
  6. 1 pound medium tomatoes, sliced crosswise 1/3 inch thick
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the bread crumbs and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until crisp and deep golden, about 5 minutes. Immediately transfer the bread crumbs to a plate and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a blender or mini processor, puree the basil with the remaining 7 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt until smooth.
  3. Arrange the tomatoes on a platter or 8 plates. Drizzle the pesto oil over and around the tomatoes and sprinkle them with the Parmesan crumbs.
Make Ahead The Parmesan crumbs and pesto oil can be refrigerated separately for up to 1 day. Let return to room temperature before serving.