Scalloped Tomatoes

Can you believe I forgot to post Saint and Scriptures Sunday yesterday. I really am getting old and forgetful, or I've got too much going on at the moment.

This is a delicious old-fashioned casserole for high summer, when tomatoes are juicy and abundant. The toasted croutons soak up the juices of the tomatoes and give both a buttery flavor and crunchiness. The sugar in the recipe is intended to balance the acid of the tomatoes: use only as much as you need to achieve a nicely rounded flavor, not to sweeten the dish. This is really good with grilled or roasted meat or fish.

Makes enough to serve 4
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6 large vine-ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
4 slices white loaf bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Put the tomato pieces and chopped onion into a large nonreactive bowl. Season with the salt, black pepper, and sugar, and toss well. Scatter the bread cubes on a baking pan, and drizzle 4 tablespoons of the melted butter over them. Toast them in the oven until they are golden brown, 8-12 minutes

Add the toasted cubes of bread to the tomatoes, and toss, well. Taste the tomatoes for seasoning and adjust, adding more if needed. Turn everything into a buttered 9x13-inch nonreactive baking dish, and drizzle the remaining melted butter over. Place a piece of parchment paper directly over the tomatoes, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes, then uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer.

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