scalloped tomato casserole with cape cod chopped salad

>> Tuesday, July 27, 2010

when i first mentioned to the girls that i would be making a tomato casserole for dinner, i received 3 stink faces staring back at me. no one seemed to thrilled at the idea, but i told them to just trust me and go with it. the recipe is from ina garten and i knew she wouldn't let me down (she is the barefoot contessa after all). by the end of dinner, the girls were proclaiming that this meal was one of the best things i've ever made. i know i say that everything is good (because it is) but this was seriously good. it was the perfect summer dish to highlight the seasonality of fresh tomatoes. i served it with a simple cape cod chopped salad - also from ina. the only changes i made were to swap turkey bacon for regular bacon, swap blue cheese for crumbled goat cheese, swap toasted walnuts for candied pecans and add diced avocado.

my picture didn't turn out as well as i would have hoped, but one of my favorite bloggers, smitten kitchen, also made this dish. check out her masterpiece.

3 cups (1/2-inch diced) bread from a french boule (we found an asiago cheese boule)
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
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned basil leaves
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

preheat the oven to 350 degrees. heat 3 tablespoons of evoo in a large saute pan over medium heat. add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the evoo. cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the cubes are evenly browned.

meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar and s&p 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 (6 to 8 cup) baking dish. sprinkle evenly with the parmesan cheese and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of evoo. bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly.


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