Summer tomatoes are best, but this dish is good even with out-of-season fruit.
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 branch fresh thyme
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
12 red cherry tomatoes
12 yellow cherry tomatoes
1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Ease large tomatoes into boiling water, blanch for 15-30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon. Nick the skin of each tomato with the tip of a knife, then peel and core.
2. Arrange large tomatoes and half the canned tomatoes (reserve the rest for another use), along with 1/2 cup of the can's juice, in a large baking dish. Sprinkle garlic over and around tomatoes. Drizzle with oil, lay thyme on top, and season generously with salt and pepper.
3. Bake tomatoes for 30 minutes, basting several times. Add cherry tomatoes and continue baking, basting once, until all tomatoes are heated through and cherry tomatoes just burst, another 10-15 minutes. Taste broth and adjust seasonings.
4. Divide tomatoes and broth between four bowls. Garnish with torn basil leaves.