Scalloped Tomatoes

August 16, 2012

You know how some people cannot stand sweet and savory foods together?  Like salt on their chocolate, or dates in their salads.  You know what I’m talking about, right?  Yep, I’m not one of them.  What does bother me, though, is when sweet names are given to savory foods.  A mushroom rice pudding.  Or a spinach baklava.  I just don’t understand it.  There are separate and distinct names given to these foods that should be used!  Risotto!  Spanikopita!

The reason why I bring this up is because this dish is essentially a tomato bread pudding.  A dish that I would have not been inspired to make if it were actually named that.  Instead, it was called “scalloped tomatoes.”  The name drew me in.  Scalloped tomatoes just screams comforting, and luxurious goodness.  And that’s exactly what this is.

Barely cooked tomatoes with lightly toasted bread, fresh herbs, and cheese.  It may sound like a savory bread pudding, but no.  Please don’t go there.  There is so much in a name.

Scalloped Tomatoes (very slightly adapted from Ina Garten)

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups cubed pieces of bread from a French or Italian loaf, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 – 2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, cut in 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup slivered basil leaves
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a shallow baking or casserole dish (6-8 cup) with cooking spray.

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until the cubes are evenly browned and toasted.

While bread is toasting, combine tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl.  After the cubes have been toasted, add the tomato mixture directly over the bread.  Continue cooking, stirring often, for 5 minutes.  Take off heat and stir in basil leaves.

Pour the tomato mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly.  Serve immediately.


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