Scalloped Tomatoes

by Susan on August 2, 2010

This weekend, fresh seafood and grilled meat took a back seat to this insanely amazing tomato dish. I can’t remember the last time I received such high accolades. It was as though I had performed a magic trick. Eyes were wide with wonder. There were proclamations of “best side dish ever,” and “can you make this again tomorrow?” My husband looked at me like I was the only woman (and chef?) in the world.

For those of you living under a rock, it’s tomato season! Farmer’s Markets are filled with sweet and juicy yellow, red, and green tomatoes in every size and shape. Pints of grape tomatoes and cartons of cherry tomatoes beckon me. I keep them washed and at-the-ready. I pop them like candy. I look for recipes that will exploit their wonders.

For this recipe I used a combo of yellow grape and red cherry tomatoes. The color mix is bright and summery. Feel free to use whatever tomatoes look and taste the best. I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong.

Though the bread starts toasted, during baking the starchy cubes soak up the tomato juices and are converted to gnocchi-like consistency – pillowy and delicate. The tomatoes and basil conspire int0 a sort of hearty sauce. The layer of Parmesan bubbles and browns.

What are you waiting for?

Scalloped Tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil
2.5 cups bread from a French boule (I used sourdough boule), crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 lbs pounds yellow and red cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons sugar (I skip this when the tomatoes are sweet enough without any help.)
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly slivered basil leaves, lightly packed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan (le creuset would probably work great) over medium-high. Add the bread cubes and stir so that they are evenly coated with oil. Cook cubes, tossing frequently, until toasty on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. When the bread cubes are toasted, add the tomato mixture and cook them together, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the basil. Top with Parmesan cheese. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

caroline August 3, 2010 at 9:19 am

I made this last night!! So amazing…I was just pondering if it was too early to dig into my leftovers…

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