Friday, August 2, 2013

Scalloped Tomatoes

It's that time of year when instead of having a couple of red, ripe tomatoes, you suddenly have a five gallon bucket full! Abundance is a blessing, but too many tomatoes are also a puzzle. Besides the obvious tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, stewed tomatoes for soups and chili next winter, there are a number of baked side dishes using tomatoes that go well with grilled meats and other fresh veggies. 

I grew up eating Scalloped Tomatoes. Mama made this in winter from canned tomatoes and it was like having a summer meal. I especially like these made from the sun ripened tomatoes of summer. They can be sweet or savory. For sweet, omit the basil and add more brown sugar. For savory, add 1 teaspoon minced garlic and increase the herbs. Either way, this is sure to become a family favorite!

Scalloped Tomatoes
Basil, brown sugar, bread cubes and onions are cooked up with thick, juicy chunks of tomato, and then baked in the oven until your kitchen smells wonderful.

1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil ( or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil)
4 teaspoons brown sugar
5 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and sliced (or cut into large chunks)
2 cups soft ( 1-inch) bread cubes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sauté butter and onion in a medium saucepan until onion is transparent. Place salt, pepper, basil, brown sugar and tomatoes in the saucepan; stir. Add bread and stir until the ingredients are well combined.
Pour the mixture into a greased 9x13 -inch baking dish.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

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