Monday, January 25, 2010

Bread, Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, 'Nuff Said

On the newest episode of The Barefoot Contessa this past weekend, Ina cooked up something straight after my own heart. We went out, got the ingredients, and made it that very same evening. I'm talking about Scalloped Tomatoes. Easy to make, and scrumptious to eat. What more could you want?

Unfortunately, the recipe did not appear on The Food Network site until today, but that didn't stop us!! We went off what we could remember from the show. Personally, I don't think you can really ever go wrong in quantities when dealing with bread, tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Those things were made for each other. Our finished product was not quite as beautiful as Ina's version, but the flavor was great.

It's like a caprese salad, or margherita pizza in a casserole. We definitely plan on making this again, and I'm sure it will be even better with the actual recipe in hand. What can I say? I'm an Italian girl, which means I'm a sucker for dishes like this.


Good olive oil

2 cups (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 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

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 (6 to 8 cup) baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Serve hot or warm.

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