Hi everyone! And happy Labor Day!
We're back and had a wonderful time. Once I get my photos organized, I'll do a post on our Nevis vacation. (I still have one more island post to go on our French Polynesian adventure of several years ago. That'll come first.) I'm looking forward to visiting all of you and find out what you've been doing.
My daughter and I made a reading list for you. Click here to see what we read and loved this summer.
Sarah's Cold-Weather Cooking is one of my favorite cookbooks. I've mentioned it several times and cook from it frequently. It was published in 1990 and this recipe for Scalloped Tomatoes was included in it. Ina Garten made it on her TV show a couple years ago and mentioned the recipe was from her friend Sarah Chase. My ears perked up....Ina has mentioned Sarah before and always generously gives her full credit. She adapted Sarah's recipe slightly, so I double checked the original in Sarah's cookbook. I made a mental note to give it a try, but never got around to it. Last year, Deb from Smitten Kitchen posted Ina's version and gave it a thumbs up. So it sure has made the rounds.
I know it says "cold weather" in the cookbook title, but this recipe sure seems loaded with summer flavors to me (garden tomatoes and fresh basil!) so I finally got around to making it. And shame on me, I made Sarah's original recipe with bacon grease. How could I not?? You can find Ina's recipe HERE. What a super side dish to serve with something on the grill. Actually, I was nibbling on it for a couple days after as well. All those lovely Parmesan and bacon-encrusted croutons!
From Cold-Weather Cooking by Sarah Leah Chase
3 tablespoons bacon fat
2 cups (1/2-inch diced) French bread
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 the bacon fat 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.
Add the tomatoes, garlic and sugar to then pan and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the basil and remove from the heat.
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.