We’ve all been reaching for comfort food lately and recipes that easily feed the family. Casseroles are a favorite choice, but with warmer temperatures and summer on the way, lighter options are what we’re beginning to crave.
Spring produce like asparagus, tomatoes, local onions and squash are readily available in produce. With just a few ingredients you can create a delicious gratin or pie made from any of these vegetables. The recipe below is a tomato gratin that is really easy to put together. You can also do variations of this recipe with other vegetables or larger tomatoes cut into slices. Another alternative is to make it with cheeses like goat, gruyere or cheddar instead of Parmesan. Also, instead of a breadcrumb crust, bake everything in a pie crust, puff pastry or toss with cubes of French bread.
It’s a simple way to enjoy your favorite seasonal veggies and keep those comforting casseroles as part of the meal.
Cherry Tomato Gratin
3 (10 oz) packages cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon lightly chopped fresh thyme (optional)
1/4 tsp black pepper
Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly oil a shallow 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Place tomatoes in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, balsamic and salt. Gently toss to combine and pour into the baking dish.
In another bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, remaining olive oil, thyme and black pepper. Cover the tomatoes with the crumb mixture. Bake until the crumbs are nicely golden, 30 to 40 minutes.