If you’re looking for some good tomato recipes and you’re lucky enough to have a bounty of them in your garden, give this Fresh Tomato Gratin recipe a try.
Instead of topping fresh tomatoes with bread cubes or bread crumbs this recipe calls for tossing crispy cubes of bread with a savory cream mixture to form a base for rows of colorful tomatoes.
Preparing the Bread
Buy a large loaf of Italian bread and use a 9-3/4″ Slicer to easily cut it into cubes. The knife’s long, sharp blade is designed to slice bread without crushing it.
Toss the cubes into a large skillet with olive oil to toast them with some Italian seasoning. Keep a close eye on the bread cubes when browning because they can go from golden brown to burnt very quickly.
Once the bread cubes are toasted, toss them into a bowl and mix them with heavy cream, Romano cheese, garlic, red wine vinegar, fresh basil, salt and pepper. Using a large Slotted Spoon, spread the cubes evenly in the baking dish to form a nice base for layering on the tomatoes.
Preparing the Tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes are recommended for this gratin but if they are not available use any type of red, yellow and orange tomatoes.
You can also try using Cutco’s Traditional Cheese Knife, which many customers say works like a dream for slicing tomatoes.
Layer the sliced tomatoes on the bread mixture and alternate the colors in the rows to create an eye-catching presentation.
As the gratin bakes, the bread soaks up the juicy goodness from the tomatoes.
For this Fresh Tomato Gratin, I had some help in the kitchen from my oldest son, Mark, who was visiting from Denver. I think he was just hanging around until it was done so he could eat it.
It smelled wonderful as it baked and I couldn’t wait to cut it. The sweetness of the tomatoes and saltiness of the cheese combined with the seasoned bread cubes is so good.
This one got rave reviews from my son and everyone else who tried it.
Originally published Aug. 24, 2017
- Large loaf of Italian bread (sliced into 4 cups of cubes)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup finely shredded Romano cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 pounds medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick*
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch or 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Slice bread into 1-inch cubes with a sharp bread knife.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add bread, sprinkle with Italian seasoning and cook roughly 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until brown and crispy.
- Transfer the bread to a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix the cream, a quarter-cup of the cheese, basil, garlic, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. Pour over the bread cubes and mix gently. Spread the mixture in the baking dish. Layer the tomatoes on top, alternating colors, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake until golden brown and crispy on top, 40 to 45 minutes. Garnish with additional basil if desired.
*Heirloom tomatoes are recommended for the gratin but if they are not available use any type of red, yellow and orange tomatoes.