Thursday, June 17, 2010

Barefoot Contessa's Scalloped Tomatoes

After serving these, I asked what everyone at the table thought of them and was met with total silence. Everyone was too busy scarfing down scalloped tomatoes to answer me. These were a huge hit and I can see why. The tomatoes take on the most amazing flavor when roasted, which really helps a fruit that can be so boring. The toasting step for the breadcrumbs keeps them from falling apart too much in the tomatoes. This is the kind of dish to make when it's winter and all you have around are those pulpy, pale pink orbs misrepresented as tomatoes. The addition of sugar really helps and, while two teaspoons seemed a bit excessive to me, I made myself follow the recipe slavishly the first time. I'm glad I did because it wasn't the least bit too sweet. I served this along side simply grilled steaks. I will definitely be making this again, it would be great alongside salmon or broiled halibut. And to think it doesn't have eight sticks of butter in it!

Barefoot Contessa Scalloped Tomatoes  


  • Good olive oil
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch diced) bread from a French boule, crusts removed
  • 16 plum tomatoes, cut 1/2-inch dice (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12 inch) saute pan over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the cubes are evenly browned.
Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. When the bread cubes are done, add the tomato mixture and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil.
Pour the tomato mixture into a shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Serve hot or warm.

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