Fall is pretty much in full swing around here, but our basil and other herbs are still hanging on. Our tomato plants even continue to produce! David picks the tomatoes every few days, so for now I remain on the lookout for creative, yummy ways to use up summer's final harvests.
My search for tomato-based dishes led me to a recipe online for scalloped tomatoes that includes basil and homemade croutons. It sounded delicious so I decided to give it a try.
Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons
Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups bread from a French boule in a 1/2-inch dice
2 1/2 pounds chopped tomatoes (cherry tomatoes work really well)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly slivered basil leaves, lightly packed
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over
medium-high. Add the bread cubes and stir so that they are evenly coated
with oil. Cook cubes, tossing frequently, until toasty on all sides,
about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a
large bowl. When the bread cubes are toasted, add the tomato mixture and
cook them together, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove from
heat, and stir in the basil. Pour into a shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking
dish (top with Parmesan cheese if you'd like - I sprinkled some nutritional yeast on top). Bake 35 to 40 minutes until the top
is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Top with panko bread crumbs if you wish for additional crunch.
Let me tell ya, this was GOOD. The flavors and juiciness of the tomatoes get intensified in the oven and the croutons soak up all the yummy goodness. It's the perfect dish to carry summer's extended harvest into the early fall season. I'm sure I'll be making this again and again.
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