Guys…it’s here– SPRING! The sun is kissing my shoulders as I am writing this, and for the first time this year, I actually feel completely defrosted. Here in L.A. it’s been sunny one minute, raining the next. And not that I’m the kind of girl who will ever be caught dead complaining about the weather in Southern California, I have to admit, I am so ready for this.
To celebrate, I’m cooking up all kinds of dishes featuring nature’s bountiful gifts. One of my absolute favs are these juicy Scalloped Tomatoes. Fresh garlic, basil, and loads and loads of ripe oozing tomatoes are sauteed and sopped up with some chewy homemade boule croutons.
The recipe was created by Food Network’s Ina Garten, and admittedly at first I was all, “what? NO meat?” But then I was forced to shut my pie hole because I needed to chew all of the deliciousness that I couldn’t stop shoveling into my mouth. It’s that good. No joke.
- Good olive oil (like Pacific Sun)
- 2 cups (1/2-inch diced) bread from a French boule
- 16 plum tomatoes (or 2 1/2 lbs), cut 1/2-inch dice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoons salt (or 2 tsp 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.
By the way, if you’ve tried any new recipes recently that are to die, I would love to hear about them. Or, if you have a craving and want to know how to make it, send me your requests! I’m hoping to try some new things now that I have more time on my hands.