Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons

In Dayton, Ohio, where I grew up, there’s a well-known steakhouse.  I’ve never actually had a steak from there, but every once in awhile, when we got really lucky, my dad would pick up their burgers on the way home from work.  As I’m sure you can imagine, burgers from a steakhouse are pretty darn good.  However, the burgers weren’t my favorite part of the takeout order. 

What I looked forward to (and often ordered double servings of) were the stewed tomatoes.  They were warm, a little sweet, and a little tangy.  They were also topped with cubes of toasted bread that were crunchy on top and a little soggy where they touched the tomatoes.  Those stewed tomatoes rocked my world.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything similar since I moved away.  Surprisingly, it never occurred to me to try to make stewed tomatoes myself.  It wasn’t until I came across today’s recipe for Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons that my cooking wheels started turning.  And then my friend and I made the recipe for lunch one day.  And I nearly fainted – in a good way.

These Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons are warm and bubbly.  The tomatoes are sweet and savory and a little tangy.  The homemade croutons add fantastic texture and crunch.  The Parmesan cheese, while not a part of the tomatoes of my youth, adds a lovely (and I think, optional) richness.  All in all, I’m in love with this recipe.  It reminds me of childhood and takeout burger nights with my family.  It’s a good thing.

Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

3 T. olive oil
2 cups bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (French bread or ciabatta work well)
2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly slivered basil leaves, lightly packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat them evenly with oil. Cook the cubes, stirring frequently, until they turn golden on all sides, about 5 minutes.

While the bread toasts, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Add the tomato mixture to the toasted croutons.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the basil. (I forgot the basil the day I took the pictures.)  Pour the tomato mixture into a shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking dish.

Top with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly.

Serve hot or warm.

Serves 4.

Leftovers taste great with a soft boiled or poached egg on top!


  1. I'm so curious - are you referring to the Grub Steak? Because I'm in Dayton and their stewed tomatoes are delicious! I'm wondering if there are some around here that could beat those. : )

  2. I've never heard of Grub Steak, but I'll have to look into their tomatoes the next time I'm in town! When I was little I loved the stewed tomatoes from the Pine Club downtown by UD. I haven't had them in years, but I'm sure they're still delicious!

  3. The Grub Steak is far better than the Pine Club, IMHO, and the prices are very reasonable. They were open for 30+ years on North Main Street, and then relocated about 5 years ago to West Carrollton, where they are open now in a little hole in the wall. It has a very loyal following. Every person at my work salivates when I mention eating there!

  4. Blah blah blah! To me grubs and steak don't go together. But pair this recipe with scalloped potatoes and a meat and we have a winner dinner!



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