Friday, August 8, 2008

Tomato bread puddings help use up the crop

The tomatoes are arriving in droves. Bright red ones hanging from the branches just waiting to be picked and enjoyed sliced fresh and topped with salt or a splash of Balsamic vinegar. Or to make into fresh pasta sauce accented with garlic, or in a tomato-cheese pie fragrant with basil leaves, also right from our garden.

And just in time for the influx of the big reds, we’re receiving recipes for tomato bread puddings, both in our e-mail and snail mail boxes. Our friend Kathy J from CA sent an e-mail asking, “Is this bread pudding?” She was referring to the recipe she forwarded, which does indeed include the necessary bread, but has no eggs or milk.

Why not? Our definition of bread pudding has broadened to include the summer puddings, which contain only layers of bread and macerated fruit. So we can certainly label this offering a bread pudding. It’s from Norma, a contributor to Taste of Home, who comments: “Every time I make this dish, someone asks for the recipe.” You can’t get much better than that. It’s lovely for an end-of-summer side dish.


8 medium tomatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
8 slices bread, crusts removed and cubed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange tomatoes in greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Top with bread cubes. Combine butter, salt, basil, and thyme; drizzle over bread and tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until tomatoes are tender. Serves 8-10 as a side dish.
(Recipe from Taste of Home online.)

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