The Magic of Pizza Bread Crumbs

I drove to Andy’s Orchard in Morgan Hill, Calif., the other day to pick peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines. Some were ready to eat right off the tree, drippy and warmed from the sun, and the rest I brought home. I keep making excuses to walk through the kitchen now, to lean in and huff their perfume like some kind of creep. I love stone fruit, OK?

I’m saving some of the firmer pieces for later in the week to make Ali Slagle’s new vegan peach crumble, with its lovely textured topping made from flour, nuts and oats. Coconut oil or vegan butter, whichever you’d prefer, binds them.

And when stone fruit season runs into tomato season, I like to make Alexa Weibel’s tomato and peach salad, doused simply with olive oil, sherry vinegar, mustard and lemon juice, on a bed of whipped goat cheese. On a hot day, it’s a whole meal, especially if you add a heap of crisp, dressed salad leaves on top and have it all with some roughly torn bread fried in olive oil.

But if you want to forget the peaches for a minute, and just focus on ripe tomatoes, take a look at Eric Kim’s beautiful cold noodles with tomatoes, Melissa Clark’s pasta salad with summer tomatoes or Christian Reynoso’s new recipe for tomatoes with Parmesan-olive bread crumbs.

To make the delicious topping, you roast bread crumbs in the oven with grated cheese, olives, citrus zest, fennel seeds and red-chile flakes until “your kitchen starts to smell a little like a pizzeria.” Then scatter them over generously seasoned tomatoes, which are extra juicy because you remembered to salt them earlier, before you made the bread crumbs (nice work!).

My only advice here is to go ahead and make a double batch of the crumbs, that way you’ll have them ready to go the next time you make Christian’s tomatoes. Because yes, you’ll be making these tomatoes again.