What a wonderful way to use fresh tomatoes from the garden! Unfortunately my tomatoes are not ripe yet, so I had to rely on plum tomatoes I purchased from the store. But as soon as mine turn from green to red they will be going into this casserole. The recipe comes from Ina Garten and is one of the Barefoot Blogger recipes of the month chosen by Josie of Pink Parsley Catering. I actually saw the episode of The Barefoot Contessa when she made this and knew it would be something that I would try, so thank you Josie for picking it.
There is another tomato casserole that I blogged about that comes from Mama Dip’s , an institution in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Although I love that casserole, it is almost dessert like in it’s sweetness. This casserole has just the right balance of acidic tomatoes, sugar and Parmesan cheese. The sourdough bread cubes I used in it absorbed all of the tomato juices and balanced the dish well.
Both Mama Dip and Ina Garten have a philosophy about food. Start with food that is real and food that is in season. Then prepare it simply so that the goodness that is inherent in it shines through. I am sending this post to the Two for Tuesdays blog hop. Hop on over and see all of the wonderful healthy recipes that the participants have provided this week. And check out what the other Barefoot Bloggers did with this wonderful scalloped tomato casserole.
Good olive oil
2 cups (1/2 inch diced) bread from a French boule (I used Sourdough)
16 plum tomatoes, cut 1/2-inch dice (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt (I used 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned basil leaves, lightly packed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat 3 tablespoons 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. 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 baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with 2 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Serve hot of warm.