Happy FRIDAY! Last night, I whipped up this easy little dish and it was a big hit! However, I recommend this for maybe a girls dinner where Hors d’oeuvre are served, or serving it with a side of pasta with a tomato and basil sauce; because the portions are small . My Hub said he could have eaten four of them…
This meal took me about 30 minutes total; to prep and Bake and take the photos (which is a learning process in itself, please ignore the 90 year old woman hands, I clearly need to moisturize)!
1 chunk of french bread (I keep a loaf in my freezer to make bread crumbs and croutons! Buy a loaf from the bakery on quick sale, slice it up and freeze it!)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 garlic Cloves, minced
1 tablespoon butter, divided (I used salted, but unsalted would work too)
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/8 teaspoon of salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon of pepper, divided
2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
1/2 pound of large shrimp ( we only had small shrimp, so I put 12-15 shrimp in each dish)
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Step 1: Preheat over to 450
Step 2: Place the bread into the food processor, and process until the bread becomes fine crumbs (you should have about 1 cup of crumbs), combine the breadcrumbs, parsley and garlic.
Step 3: Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the breadcrumb mixture once the butter is melted, and cook for three minutes, or until the breadcrumbs begin to brown and you start to smell the garlic
Step 4: Coat the 2 individual gratin dishes with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Then, place the shrimp in a single layer in the dishes and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Next, layer each dish with 1/4 cup of the breadcrumb mixture then top with the tomato slices. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a pinch of salt and pepper and a tablespoon each of the fresh basil.
Tip: To chop basil, stack the leaves, roll them till they look like a cigar, then slice (slice like you are cutting the cigar into little circular pieces) with a sharp knife to make pretty ribbons of basil and avoid bruising them. Since they are a delicate herb, slicing them in this way helps them from bruising and browning! (Fancy name for this: Chiffonade)
Divide the remaining breadcrumbs and layer on top of the tomato and basil. Then, sprinkle each with a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Lastly, dot with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter.
Step 5: Bake for 12 minutes at 450, remove from oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Source: adapted from Cooking Light
For a hungry husband satisfying portion, I would double the recipe and bake it in a 9×9 baking dish! Have a wonderful weekend!