We’re taught that the key to maintaining our figure when surrounded by so much food creations is to eat in moderation. But once in awhile, we all encounter a dish that we take a “test bite” of and then just can’t resist going back for more! Before you realize it, you’re making another batch just so you can serve a presentable looking dish to your dinner guests.
The other day, I was bitten by the “can’t stop eating” bug when I made this highly addictive and extremely simple bread pudding.
Looking for inspiration for what to do with my days-old baguette, I came across this scalloped tomatoes recipe from the Contessa herself, Ina. It was, as you might call it, a life changing experience. Who knew such a simple equation of tomatoes + bread + oven = bliss? From that day forth, I recreated variations of that recipe whenever I came home from a long day at work (and had leftover bread from TomKat bakery). This is one of my favorite variations, filled with healthy veggies and bubbling with cheese on top:
- 4-5 Ripe Tomatoes, diced
- 5 cups of bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (I use baguettes, but mostly any bread will do)
- 1/2 of a zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch thick medallions, and then halved
- 1.5 cup of fresh cut corn (frozen/canned will work too)
- 1 cup of sliced mushrooms (I like using a combo of baby bella, oyster & shitake)
- 2 cups of shredded fontina cheese (chedder, mozzarella, monterey jack also work beautifully)
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, cut into thin Chiffonade shreds
- 2 Tbsp Xagave Nectar
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
- 3-4 Tbsp of olive oil
- a pinch of salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- In a frying pan, toast the garlic in olive oil
- Add the bread cubes; toss & toast on medium heat until bread is crouton-like
- In another frying pan, saute the zucchini, mushrooms, and corn in some oil & salt & pepper until just cooked (3-5 min)
- Meanwhile, mix the diced tomatoes and basil with the Xagave nectar until well blended
- Add in the cooked veggies to the tomato mixture and mix well
- Mix in the toasted bread cubes and pour into a casserole baking dish (don’t worry if it’s a little watery – the bread will soak up the tomato liquid when baking)
- Season with some salt & pepper, layer the fontina cheese on top, & pop in the oven for 30-40 minutes until cheese is bubbly and the top is crispy and browned
- Dig in with a spoon and don’t resist the temptation to keep on eating!