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Author Notes: Ripe cherry tomatoes are among the sweetest fruits of summer. In addition to enjoying them freshly picked and washed, I also love them slow roasted. I especially like to add slow roasted tomatoes to savory bread puddings, although such a rich dish seemed heavy for the season. Enter the panade, essentially a bread gratin moistened by stock or water and enriched with vegetables and cheese. Inspired by Judy Rodger’s Zuni Café Cookbook, I wanted the roasted tomatoes to star, so used water rather than stock to bind the dish. Roasted garlic, fresh basil, mint and feta play supporting roles, and the resulting panade is surprisingly light with fresh summer flavors. This would be a lovely rustic side for a simple supper with grilled meat and a green salad. —gingerroot
Serves 6-8 as a side
- 12 ounces sweet cherry tomatoes, a mix of colors, halved
- Pinches of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on garlic and bread cubes
- 3 whole heads garlic
- 12 cups day old whole grain country bread, cut into roughly 1-inch cubes
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 10 inch (approx.) square piece of parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet by placing parchment to one side and folding up the edges of each side of the square (about ¼- ½ inch high), pinching the corners to create a slight rim to catch all the sweet roasting juices. Arrange halved cherry tomatoes on this square, seasoning with a few pinches of sea salt and 2 T extra virgin olive oil.
- Slice about ½ inch off the bottom of each whole garlic head. Remove excess layers of papery skin. Place heads on a piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap tightly. Place this packet next to parchment square. Roast tomatoes and garlic for an hour, until tomatoes are slightly browned, fragrant and still a bit juicy.
- Remove pan from oven. Crank heat up to 350 degrees. Carefully remove tomatoes, using parchment to help funnel tomatoes and a spatula to scrape all of their juices into another bowl. Discard parchment and return garlic packet to the oven to roast for another 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove from oven and set aside to cool. NOTE: Through this step can be done a day in advance. Store roasted tomatoes in a small tightly lidded container and add a film of olive oil over the top. Keep in the refrigerator. Store roasted garlic, removed from skins, in a similar fashion.
- Turn oven down to 325 degrees.
- In a saucepan, bring water and kosher salt to a simmer. Keep warm.
- Spread bread cubes out on a rimmed baking sheet. Add a ladleful of warm salted water and a tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to combine.
- Squeeze the cooled, roasted garlic from one head into a Dutch oven (I have a 5 qt). With a spatula, spread garlic evenly in the bottom of pan. Top with a layer of bread cubes (about a third of the bread), followed by about a third of pesto, and a third of the roasted tomatoes. Repeat layers two more times, ending with tomatoes. Your layers might differ a bit depending on the size of your Dutch oven, but as long as you distribute them evenly, it will work.
- Ladle warm salted water around edges of bread, waiting between each addition to allow water to absorb a bit. Press down gently on top layer of bread. You should be able to see the water line. Place Dutch oven on stove and heat over medium until water is bubbling. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook for 70 minutes, until panade is slightly puffed. Remove cover and cook for an additional ten minutes. Finished panade should be fragrant, slightly browned, crisp on top and pulling away from the sides. Remove from oven; let panade cool slightly before serving. Panade is delicious hot, warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can also be pan-fried. Enjoy!
For Pesto, makes about 1 cup
- 2 heads roasted garlic
- 1 1/2 cups basil, thoroughly washed and dried – I used a mix of globe (bush variety) from my garden and Thai from my CSA box. Feel free to substitute sweet basil, although if you have access to a spicier variety it is a nice addition.
- 1/2 cup plus 1 T mint, thoroughly washed and dried
- 1/4 cup plus 1 T blanched, sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup feta, crumbled
- 1/3 cup plus 1T extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Squeeze the cooled roasted garlic (from two heads) into a blender. Add remaining ingredients except for the oil. With the machine running, drizzle in 1/3 cup of oil. Right when you think you need to grab your spatula, the oil should reach the bottom and start mixing the ingredients. Puree until mixture is thick and combined, scraping sides with spatula to catch any errant basil or mint leaves. Add remaining tablespoon of oil and pulse to combine. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside until needed.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Cherry Tomatoes