Aug 13, 2009

tomato gratin

Returning with so many tomatoes from our recent farm trip has left me in a bit of a daze. I canned 9 quarts of them (notice my canning jars are getting bigger), and have several bags in the freezer, but there are ever more to be devoured. I can't complain, eating fresh homegrown tomatoes morning, noon and night is definitely a luxury that won't last long. But with so many I do find myself trying to go beyond the typical salads, pasta's and pizzas that I usually make.

Scanning through recipes for a different take on tomatoes I found this lovely tomato based gratin. It doesn't use a ton of tomatoes, actually only 3, which makes it easy for most people who don't just happen to have 10 pounds of tomatoes sitting on their kitchen counter. And it was super fast to whip up as a side dish to some fabulous fresh sausage that I recently picked up from the butcher.

tomato gratin
from The Savory Way by Deborah Madison

3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes (or 1 one huge one)
4 tablespoons cream
a handful of basil leaves, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 slices of wheat bread
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Slice the tomatoes into rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Overlap them in an 8 x 8 sized baking dish so that they aren't too crowded. Pour over the cream, sprinkle the basil over the top and lightly season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cream has boiled up around the edges. While the tomatoes are baking toast the bread and cut it into 2 inch strips. Distribute the strips over 2 serving dishes, serve the tomatoes with their sauce over the toast, and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 2 as a side dish (2 of us ate almost all of it so I would recommend doubling the recipe and using a larger baking dish if you want to serve more).

local ingredients:
It is tomato season so you should be able to find some yummy heirloom varieties at any farmer's market. I got the tomatoes and the basil from the farm, and I used Horizon Organic Heavy Whipping Cream.

(photography by: alison clayshulte)

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