On Friday morning I realized something quite shocking.
I’ve worked near the Union Square Greenmarket for almost 8 months and I’ve never bought a single piece of produce.
Seriously. Not even one*!
Worse than that, it’s officially August meaning summer is
2/3 over in full swing and I’ve been letting the best of tomatoes, peaches, corn, berries, you name it, go to waste, instead buying my produce at Fairway which is basically like saying, “It’s fine, I don’t like fresh produce, I don’t care what my food tastes like.”
Obviously I do care what my food tastes like. I hope we know each other well enough by now for you to know that.
Anyway, I realized I had to make a change so as soon as I got off work I strolled over to Union Square and entered Greenmarket Heaven.
I wanted to buy everything! I almost did. It was all perfect, everything was ripe, the tomatoes were beautiful, the basil smelled fantastic. I got a sunflower just because.
I knew I had to have a recipe in mind or else I would buy everything, and since I only like tomatoes when they’re in season a tomato dish was a clear choice. Deb (who else?) has been feeding us the most delicious produce inspiration all summer, including an inspired recipe for scalloped tomatoes.
Think scalloped potatoes except instead of starch you dice up perfectly ripe tomatoes, caramelize them with garlic and toasted bread cubes, swirl them with basil and bake them into juicy oblivion.
I had to have them. Serve topped with a poached egg or plain. They’re that good.
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups bread diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced basil leaves, lightly packed
Optional: 1 cup parmesan or nutritional yeast
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Toss bread cubes with olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet lined with foil and toast in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy.
Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Lightly oil a large sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat. When bread cubes are toasted, add to pan with tomato mixture and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and stir in basil. Pour into a shallow (Deb says 6-8 cup) baking dish and top with cheese or nutritional yeast, if desired. Bake 35-50 minutes or until top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbling. I cooked for 30 but my oven is hot.
*: Ok there was an apple cider donut once but that doesn’t count as produce, clearly.
Scalloped tomatoes with croutons: https://smittenkitchen.com/2010/07/scalloped-tomatoes-with-croutons/