Friday, October 23, 2015

Eating Smart ~ Scalloped Tomatoes

If you are looking for a way to use up the last of that garden bounty, try this ~ 

It's a new favorite at our house.

Note: For the two of us, I cut the recipe in half the first time.  
Mr. C liked it so well, though, I will probably double it next time!

2nd Note:  It calls for plum tomatoes, but if you have some bigger ones from your garden, I would use those ~ just discard some of that extra juice (or save it for soup!), 'cause that's the reason for using plums ~~ they're not-so-juicy.

3rd Note:  Since I don't have a garden, I had to make do with store-bought ~~ but it's a great time of year to buy (I got mine at Costco), since they still in season, and are so ruby red straight from the vine.  

I would not recommend this as a winter-time dish, when the tomatoes are all hot-house grown, with a fraction of the flavor of vine-grown.

So here you go ~ let me know what you think!

Prep Time:   20 minutes
Cook Time:  35 minutes
Serves:  6 servings

Ina Garten's Scalloped Tomatoes

Good olive oil
2 C (1/2-inch diced) bread from a French boule, crusts removed
16 plum tomatoes, cut 1/2-inch dice (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 T minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 T sugar
2 t kosher salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 C julienned basil leaves, lightly packed
1 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Heat 3 T of olive oil in a large (12 inch) saute pan over medium heat.  Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil.  Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the cubes are evenly browned.

Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  
Wow, those are really beautiful!

When the bread cubes are done, add the tomato mixture and continue to cook, stirring often for 5 minutes.  

Off the heat, stir in the basil.

Pour the tomato mixture into a shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking dish. 

Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with 2 T of olive oil.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly.  
Serve hot or warm.

This is very warm and comforting, as is any dish baked with a little cheese;  but it's also fresh and light with the fresh tomatoes and basil.  I think it would be nice baked in individual-sized dishes for a dinner party.  It's also a fabulous vegetarian meal-in-itself.  

I served it with sauteed fresh snow peas and a roasted chicken breast (skin-on, bone-in, fresh).  On a baking sheet, just rub w/a little olive oil, season with salt & pepper, and roast it (uncovered) for 35-40  minutes at 350 Degrees ~ same as the tomato dish.

  Now that's what I call eating smart!

This all looked so good that I forgot to take a picture once it was plated.......

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