I love tomatoes! Nothing makes me happier than going to the farmers market on summer Saturday morning and bringing home a big basket. This morning we went to the grand opening of the East Lake Farmers Market in the parking lot of the Methodist church and bought beautiful, fresh, ripe tomatoes and strawberries. A few weeks ago I saw Ina Garten prepare her recipe for scalloped tomatoes and it inspired me to create this version, which combines tomatoes with another personal favorite—homemade croutons. (The original calls for sugar, which I omitted. I also omitted the garlic, but that was an oversight; it tastes good without it. Dried basil will work if you don't have fresh.) To round out our meal, we had Pork Chops With Apple Gravy and Mashed Potatoes. Andy wasn't a big fan of the tomato dish because he doesn't like crusty bread. But if you do, you'll love this. I will definitely make it again for me! It reminded me of a hot version of Panzanella. Enjoy!
2 French baguettes, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper
8 tomatoes, cut into chunks
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Toss bread chunks with olive oil until coated; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook bread chunks in a large Dutch oven until browned and warm.
2. Toss together croutons and tomatoes. Stir in salt and pepper to taste; stir in basil. Spread mixture into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
3. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.