KCET Food and the Hollywood Farmer's Kitchen decided to celebrate the hottest days of the year with the perfect late-summer produce: tomatoes. The red (or yellow or green or purple, you name it) orbs remind us of cool salads and crunchy sandwiches and low-hassle meals. Ironically enough, our favorite recipe submissions required the use of ovens.
No matter -- we're just looking for the most delicious recipes! This one, our runner-up, from Camille Napier Bernstein of Massachusetts, has, essentially, a perfect flavor profile. We also love the retro vibe of this custardy, but savory dish. Enjoy!
Roasted Tomato Bread Pudding
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups roasted tomatoes, cut up with juice (see recipe for roasted tomatoes below)
6 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 day-old large challah or baguette or crusty bread, rough cubed (about 5 cups once cubed)
6 fresh tomato slices (about ¼" thick)
1 onion, medium chop
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced (or 1 ½ tablespoons dried)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced (or 1 ½ tablespoons dried)
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced (or ¾ tablespoon dried)
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt, pepper, tabasco/hot sauce, to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Butter Bundt* pan. Lay sliced fresh tomatoes on bottom of pan, overlapping if needed.
Cut bread into ½" cubes and place in large bowl.
Sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon butter gently until translucent -- 7-9 min. Add garlic and sauté for one minute.
Beat the eggs briefly with a fork and then mix with the cream, parmesan cheese, onions, tomatoes and juice, tomato paste and ¾ of the herbs. Add salt and pepper (~2 teaspoons each). Pour cream/tomato mixture over the bread. Stir just to combine. Sprinkle some extra Parmesan on top.
Allow pudding to sit for 30 minutes then bake for about 45 minutes. (If you can, set a pan of water on the rack underneath the Bundt pan to keep the pudding moist.)
Let pudding rest for 30 minutes before serving, then release from Bundt and sprinkle rest of fresh herbs on top. Best eaten room temperature, but also great cold. Even better second day!
*I have also made this in a simple casserole dish or a Pyrex. If using these dishes, put sliced tomatoes on top of pudding.
Roma tomatoes work best, but if you use more watery tomatoes (slicing tomatoes), simply keep the pieces larger sizes.
Halve or quarter tomatoes and place in large bowl. Coat with olive oil, plenty of salt/pepper, and a healthy sprinkle of your favorite herbs (like Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning). Toss in 6-8 peeled but whole garlic cloves.
Place on baking sheet and put in pre-heated oven at 225 degrees. Roast for 3 hours, or until most juices have been released and some caramelization has begun.
Use in bread pudding recipe, or spread on a baguette with your favorite cheese.