Make Ahead

Sarah Leah Chase's Scalloped Tomatoes

September  4, 2012
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This recipe is mostly tomatoes, just warmed up and sharpened with a little garlic and basil, with just enough bread tossed in to sop up the juices. And some cheese on top, because cheese is always good on top. Merrill called it "hot panzanella". Adapted slightly from Cold Weather Cooking (Workman Publishing Company, 1990) —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons bacon fat (or olive oil)
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch diced) French bread, preferably a crusty baguette
  • 16 plum tomatoes, cut 1/2-inch dice, about 2 1/2 pounds (use the best tomatoes you can find -- beefsteak will be juicier)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (optional -- we skipped it)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat the bacon fat in a large (12 inch) saute pan over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the cubes are evenly browned. Add the tomatoes, garlic and sugar to then pan and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the basil and remove from the heat.
  3. Pour the tomato mixture into a shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Serve hot or warm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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  • Liz | inspired by the seasons
    Liz | inspired by the seasons
  • Sally
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

44 Reviews

Terri August 16, 2022
I followed the recipe as written (and chose to omit the sugar), my family really enjoyed it. We’ve been eating a lot of tomato lately, taking advantage of the season. This was an equally fresh tasting way to serve them. Thanks for a great recipe.
keithcancook September 20, 2020
Fantastic recipe to use up ripe,end of season tomatoes
JV July 2, 2020
This was absolutely DELICIOUS! So simple and so much flavor.

With summer tomatoes, sourdough bread, 3 year aged parmigiana, fresh oregano mixed in with the basil, and seasonal garlic scapes (we upped the quantity, and added some extra uncooked at the herb stage for more of a bite) - it was truly a delight. We’ll definitely be adding to our rotation as a healthyish but indulgent meal.

It reminded me a bit of the Tuscan pappa al pomodoro (a tomato bread stew).
Tricia L. July 5, 2019
I had no fresh tomatoes, so I used canned, leaving out the extra sauce in the can. I also substituted the sugar with red wine vinegar and added bacon. My family couldn’t eat it fast enough.
cosmiccook August 19, 2018
Do you seed, peel and drain the tomatoes when dicing them?
Kristen M. August 19, 2018
No, every bit of tomato stays in this recipe!
Art M. July 21, 2018
For something a bit different...Place your cut tomatoes inside
a smoker for about an hour before assembling the dish.
Liz |. October 13, 2017
Thank you for giving me yet another delicious way to use up those last tomatoes from the garden. I used a mix of cherry, brandywine and juliets. I topped it off with a fried egg for dinner. I cannot stop thinking about how good this was!!!
Penny L. November 27, 2016
Made this last night and it was AWESOME. The bread is everything; make sure it is very good quality. I used a combination of butter and olive oil to add flavor and to ensure that the cubes browned nicely. Next time I will try using canned San Marzano tomatoes because the tomatoes get cooked down so much anyways you can't tell the original texture - really you just need moisture and good flavor which the San Marzano provide.

Thanks for a wonderful recipe!
andrea August 18, 2016
I followed the recipe, but added zucchini from the garden as well. I salted the sliced zucchini to remove some of the moisture, then patted it dry, before I added it raw as a layer under the tomatoes. This worked great.
Sally November 4, 2015
Could you make this with canned tomatoes in the winter or would it be to runny.?
Lynn May 11, 2015
This is so close to my family's "tomato pudding" from the 50's, except we used rye bread with caraway seeds for another layer of flavor. What goes around comes around, thank the heavens.
Tina H. September 12, 2014
I wait all year long to have too many tomatoes coming out of my garden just so I can make this over and over! It's one of our favorite go to recipes this time of year! I often will make a couple of dimples in the top of this and crack a couple of eggs into them about 8 minutes before it comes out of the oven. A delicious, complete meal every single time!
Amy April 24, 2016
Brilliant! Will try this!
bookjunky September 4, 2014
I used olive oil, good croutons, and beefsteak tomatoes from our garden since that's what I had around. And some of the cheese was aged gouda. It was a little wetter and less structured than I think it should have been but the flavors were good and I still liked it a great deal. I will definitely make this again, hopefully with some real bread. Black olives would make a great addition, or sauteed mushrooms, or maybe some sauteed corn from the garden...
NotTooSweet August 8, 2014
This was amazing! I used olive oil as we didn't have bacon fat but otherwise followed as the recipe was written. Thank you so much for a great new way to prepare tomatoes - we really enjoyed this with broiled fish, but was equally delicious at breakfast with scrambled eggs!
Vaishnavi K. August 9, 2013
Can I toss in some pasta when I put it in the oven? It would make a good one pot dinner...
Kristen M. August 9, 2013
Sounds worth a try! I would par-cook the pasta, and maybe splash in some water if it starts looking too dry.
Ruthioruthio June 24, 2013
Loved it but added a little more garlic! My kitchen smelled amazing!
Jeba B. March 5, 2013
I made this the other day. Put it in my tuna sandwich...It was perfect
Skinny B. November 25, 2012
This dish is so amazing and flavorful! I did not have bacon in hand, so I used 3 Tablespoon of butter. My entire apartment smelt heavenly as I was toasting the bread in the butter. This dish is definitely a keeper. Thank you genius recipe for sharing!
Harvest Q. November 12, 2012
I've made this a couple of times, with great success. It's a great way to use up end of season tomatoes. I don't buy croutons, so chopped up another tablespoon of garlic and added it with the bread. Crusty bread is crucial. Otherwise it gets too soggy. I cooked half a package of bacon, used the fat, then put half slices on top of the dish before it went in the oven. Each serving had it's own slice. It looks lovely and tastes great. A keeper!
lindamettler October 13, 2012
Absolutely delicious! So happy to find a tomato dish that doesn't require onions and still has a wonderful flavor.