Monday, January 25, 2010

In the Bleak Mid-Winter

Every fall I can tomatoes. This is something I have done for seventeen plus years. Canning is labor intensive, but well worth the effort. In a good year I’ll can 100 quarts or more providing us with a ready supply of tomatoes through the winter months. There is nothing like the taste of summer in the bleak mid-winter. And, nothing says summer like tomatoes!

This dish was created a number of years ago for a pot luck gathering. I needed to come up with a side dish that was quick and easy and would feed the masses. It was a huge hit, and has become a family favorite.

Scalloped Tomatoes

2 quarts tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

1 small onion

½ stalk celery with leaves, chopped

½ green pepper, chopped

1 Tbsp. chopped basil

1 c. plain bread crumbs, divided

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided

Kosher salt

White pepper

Select a 1-quart casserole dish and butter it with one tablespoon of the butter. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350.

Strain the liquid from the tomatoes reserving it for soup stock. Break up the tomatoes and set aside.

Sautee the garlic, onion, celery and green pepper until the onion is translucent. Stir in the basil, a good grind of white pepper and kosher salt to taste.

Place half the tomatoes in the prepared casserole dish. Carefully spoon the sautéed vegetables on top of the tomatoes and spread evenly. Sprinkle over ½ cup of the bread crumbs. Add the remaining tomatoes on top of the bread crumbs. Top with the remaining ½ cup of bread crumbs. Dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

Bake in the preheated oven until bread crumbs are golden brown and the casserole is bubbling at the sides—45 minutes to 1 hour.

Serves 4

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if I would ever have ordered scalloped tomatoes off a menu, or tried making it myself if I'd just seen it in a cookbook. Having experienced them first-hand, however, I can definitely attest to their comforting qualities.