Tomatoes and Artichokes

Serves 5 or 6. Recipe is by Corinne Cook.

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

¼ tsp sugar

1 tsp. dried sweet basil

1 (14-oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered, remove tough outer leaves if necessary

1 lg. clove garlic, finely minced

1 ½ tbls. fresh parsley, chopped

3 tbls. butter, divided

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Butter a 9-inch glass pie plate or small baking dish and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Rinse, dry and cut a thin slice off the top, stem end, of each tomato; set aside. The cut end will be dipped into dry seasoning mix.

3. In a small bowl mix, salt, black pepper, sugar and basil. Stir to mix. Dip the cut end of each tomato in the salt-basil mixture and place in prepared baking dish.

4. Place artichoke quarters over tomatoes. Sprinkle with minced garlic and parsley.

5. In small skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter then add the fresh bread crumbs. Stir to coat and continue cooking until very lightly browned. Remove from heat, stir and set aside to cool slightly.

6. Cut remaining 1 tablespoon butter into small pieces and scatter over artichokes and tomatoes in dish.

7. Mix toasted bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese together. Sprinkle half of the bread-crumb mixture over the tomatoes and artichokes. Bake in preheated 400-degree oven on middle rack for about 5 minutes. The tomatoes will just be heated. Remove from oven and sprinkle dish with remaining bread crumbs and cheese.

8. Turn oven to broil and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes or until bread and cheese mixture is nicely browned. Watch carefully to prevent burning.

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