This summer tomato gratin recipe is from the cookbook "Vegetables Illustrated." Photo by: Carl Tremblay/America's Test Kitchen via AP
August 7, 2019 11:16:25 AM
A summer tomato gratin should burst with concentrated, bright tomato flavor and contrasting firm texture from the bread, but most recipes lead to mushy results. Not this one.
Starting our gratin on the stovetop initiated the breakdown of the tomatoes, drove off some moisture that would otherwise have sogged out the bread, and shortened the overall cooking time. We finished the dish in the dry, even heat of the oven.
Toasting large cubes of a crusty artisan-style baguette ensured that the bread didn't get too soggy once combined with the tomatoes. After toasting the bread, we added the coarsely chopped tomatoes as well as garlic, a small amount of sugar, and salt and pepper. Just before moving the skillet to the oven, we folded in most of the toasted bread and scattered the remainder over the top along with some Parmesan to create a crusty, savory topping that contrasted with the custardy interior.
A scattering of fresh basil provided color and bright flavor. The success of this recipe depends on using ripe, in-season tomatoes. Do not use plum tomatoes, which contain less juice than regular round tomatoes and will result in a dry gratin. You can serve the gratin hot, warm, or at room temperature. You will need a 12-inch oven-safe skillet for this recipe.
BEST SUMMER TOMATO GRATIN
Start to finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces crusty baguette, cut into 3/4 inch pieces (4 cups)
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Nutrition information per serving: 301 calories; 148 calories from fat; 16 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 6 mg cholesterol; 740 mg sodium; 31 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 8 g protein.