Thinly sliced green tomatoes are served gratin-style in this recipe from Miller Union chef Steven Satterfield.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add celery, shallot, onion, peppercorns, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs, and season with salt; cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft and translucent.
Add cream and bring to a simmer; remove from heat and let steep 15 to 20 minutes. Strain cream into a small container with a spout, gently pressing on solids to extract flavor. Discard solids and set cream aside.
Using remaining tablespoon butter, butter a 9-by-7-inch or 2-quart baking dish; set aside. Using a mandolin, very thinly slice tomatoes into 1/16-inch slices, discarding any irregular or unusable pieces. Layer tomatoes close together and slightly overlapping so that they cover bottom of entire dish; season with salt and pepper. Repeat process, making 5 layers of tomatoes and seasoning between each. Let stand 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Using a second baking dish about the same size as the one containing the tomatoes, press down on surface of tomatoes and drain any liquid that has accumulated in the dish; discard liquid and remove second baking dish.
Top tomatoes with breadcrumbs; do not press down. Evenly pour reserved cream over top so that breadcrumbs are moistened. Transfer to oven and bake until breadcrumbs are golden brown and tomatoes are tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Top with fresh thyme leaves and serve immediately.