Jacques Pepin is my hero, when it comes to experience and knowledge of cooking he is in a league of his own. You have got to love a chef who turns down a job in the White House to work for Howard Johnson. Mr. Pepin's recipe for Garlicky Cherry Tomato and Bread Gratin takes simple ingredients and transforms them into something wonderful. Like a warm Panzanella salad, cherry tomatoes, day old French bread, garlic, olive oil and cheese bake into a crispy gratin with all the flavors of summer. In a 10 inch oven, I baked the gratin for 30 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 18-20 on the lid. If you're missing the sun ripened flavor of an off the vine tomato in the middle of winter, give this recipe a try. Baking the cherry tomatoes heightens their flavor and their sweet juices are absorbed by the cubes of garlicky bread.
Garlicky Cherry Tomato and Bread Gratin
One 5-ounce piece of day-old French baguette with crust, cut into 1-inch cubes (5 cups)
1 1/2 pounds small cherry tomatoes (about 3 cups)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, salt and pepper.
Scrape the mixture into prepared dutch oven.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until bread cubes are browned and crisp and the tomatoes are very tender.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
|Mix ingredients well in a large bowl then pour into dutch oven