Friday, 7 September 2012

Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons

Scalloped Tomatoes with parmesan cheese
I discovered this recipe on the Smitten Kitchen and have made it twice this week. It is fast and easy to prepare and the ingredients are readily available at this time of year. It is a comfort food kind of casserole with the same appeal as pizza, hot bruschetta or macaroni and cheese. There are several versions on the internet with stellar reviews, but I will post it on my own blog for ease of reference. I did tweak the amounts slightly. I used four diced field tomatoes the size shown in the picture below. The other recipes call for 2-1/2 pounds of tomatoes such as plum or grape. I used my cast iron Dutch oven on the stove top and also in the oven.

For croutons:

2 tbsp olive oil
3 slices (2 cups) diced dense bread like sourdough or a good artisan bread. (I used a multigrain sourdough bread)

Add the bread to the oil in a heavy pan, stir and toast on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until bread is crisp and toasted. In the meantime prepare:

Diced tomatoes, 4 large or 2-1/2 pounds plum or grape tomatoes
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/2 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

When croutons are done, add the tomatoes and other ingredients to the pot and cook until tomatoes are softened. I put the oven-proof pot in the oven (375 F) and baked it for 30 minutes. You could use a 9 inch square pan or equivalent sized casserole instead.

I made it without cheese the first time and it was delicious. The next time I added 1/3 cup of fresh parmesan cheese petals to the top 5 minutes before taking it out of the oven. The dish needs to sit about 15 minutes before you eat it or you will be sure to burn your tongue!

I would say this serves 4-6 as a side dish. Three of us ate it as the main dish and there were no leftovers.

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