Tomato Bread Pudding
3 lg tomatoes, peeled, about 2 1/2-3 lb
10 slices coarse, rustic bread, toasted
4 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp sugar
1/3 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 English muffins, split and toasted
Generously butter an 8 inch soufflé or deep casserole dish.
Cut top and bottom from tomatoes and cut into 2 to 3 thick slices (all slices should be about the same thickness). Line the bottom of the dish with half the bread, patching spaces with torn pieces of bread. Layer half the tomatoes over top. Drizzle with half the olive oil, then sprinkle with half the salt, parsley, tarragon and sugar. Add a good grind of pepper. Repeat layers and sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.
Process the muffins into large crumbs in a food processor and sprinkle over cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cover with foil and bake another 30 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and the bread has a pudding-like texture.
Prep Tips: Any type of hearty bread will work (French, peasant, wheat) but regular sandwich bread is too flimsy to work in this dish. Delicious as a meal with a salad and some good cheese.
Adapted from Lee Bailey’s Tomatoes, Lee Bailey, Clarkson/Potter Publ., 1992.
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