The official last day of summer, and I have a handful of tomato-dish-this, peach-dish-that to share with you. A large percentage of the tomato dishes begin with tossing the tomatoes with olive oil, honey, vinegar of some sort, and a bit of salt, then baking until they pop. From there, they take on their own unique persona, whether they're blended, mixed with greens, or in this case, baked again. This second time, they're surrounded by custard sopped morsels of bread. It's a good transitional dish, robust with flavor and warmth, because it's around this time of year that my toes begin to chill.
Sorry about the lack of measurements. Bread pudding is one of those that I hardly ever (read: never) measure because I use what I have. Don't be afraid to taste the mixture while in the process of mixing it up, just be sure to taste it before you add the eggs, not after.
tomato bread pudding
1 onion, chopped
a few cloves garlic
handful of herbs, roughly chopped
honey or agave
a day old baguette, torn into pieces and dried or toasted
some milk or cream
a few eggs, lightly scrambled with a fork
parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, grated
salt and pepper
If your bread is fresh, toast it in the oven until it is crisp and completely dry.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit.
Drizzle the tomatoes, onion and garlic cloves with olive oil, a bit of balsamic vinegar, some honey and salt. Mix in the chopped herbs and layer onto a baking dish. Roast in 425 degree oven until the tomatoes burst, about 25 to 30 minutes. You may want to move things around with tongs every once in a while.
Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, Combine the dry bread, tomato mixture, and all the juice from it. You may want to chop or crush the garlic cloves before adding them. Mix everything together, the bread should need a little more liquid, add a little bit of milk, mixing well after each addition until all the bread is wet, but not soaked through. Add a handful of the cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings.
Lastly, add the eggs and mix well. Pour into a casserole dish big enough to hold the mixture. Press the mixture down into the dish, not too firmly. Top with some grated cheese and small slices of butter if you're using it, and bake until it's cooked through, about 45 minutes. You may want to tent a piece of foil atop the pudding if the cheese begins to brown too much.