Scalloped Potatoes I get. Scalloped Tomatoes? Never heard of it!
It is the height of tomato season, so what better time to try a new tomato dish? I adore tomatoes, but mostly I like them raw or just lightly cooked. I think that’s why I gravitated towards the recipe – it was something totally new for me.
The recipe comes from Edna Lewis, a chef who is well-known for her Southern style cooking. Good ingrediants, used at their peak of freshness and prepared simply was her forte. And that was mostly cause that was how it was done while she was growing up.
The key to this recipe is to use BUTTER. Do not, under any circumstances, think you can get by with olive oil. NO. YOU CANNOT. Got it? Use butter or don’t do it at all! I know this because I took one look at the recipe and freaked by how much butter it used and I cut it with olive oil (why olive oil is acceptible and butter is not…don’t ask). I did not know it at the time, but the butter is absolutely integral here – it creates the buttery breadcrumbs which punctuate the dish.
The other key here? Room temp is best. You can taste the flavors the most when the dish has cooled down a bit. So if you pull it from the oven and the rest of your meal isn’t quite ready, do not despair!
Oh and one final thing – I threw in some fresh thyme cause I just felt like it.
Edna Lewis’ Scalloped Tomatoes
6 large vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1 & 1/2 inch pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
2 t sugar
4 slices crusty white bread, crusts removed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
7 T unsalted butter, melted
optional: I threw in maybe a teaspoon of fresh thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Put the tomato pieces ad chopped onion into a large nonreactive bowl. Season with the salt, pepper, and sugar. Toss well to distribute the seasoning. Scatter the bread cubes on a baking pan, and drizzle 4 tblsp. of the butter over them so they are coated evenly. Toast them in the oven until they are golden brown, approximately 8-12 minutes (turning once to toast evenly).
3. Add the cubes of bread to the tomatoes and toss well. Taste the tomatoes and adjust the seasoning (salt, pepper, or sugar) as needed.
4. Turn everything into a buttered 9×13 nonreactive baking dish, and drizzle the remaining melted butter over it.
5. Place a piece of parchment paper directly over the tomatoes, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes, then uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer.
Ms. Pantry Raid