Sourdough bread on its own? Great!
Sourdough bread turned into garlic bread? Even better!
Sourdough bread that’s been turned into garlic bread and topped with juicy, roasted tomatoes and Parmesan? Jackpot!
I guarantee that if you even remotely like garlic bread and tomatoes, this will make your heart sing!
And make your house smell like an Italian restaurant— but in a good way!
And the beauty part is that it is crazy simple with just a few ingredients, once again proving that simple is best!
My only problem is that I can’t decide if it’s just a special side or the perfect warm weather vegetarian main dish. Or maybe a wonderful weekend lunch. Poor me. Guess I’ll just have to keep testing it out again and again. LOL!!
What happens is that when it cooks the tomatoes seep into the crunchy garlic bread crust which gets just ever so softened and chewy and all of that is contrasted by the gorgeous, golden garlic bread croutons covering the whole thing. It screams SUMMER—what with the tomatoes and all. Sure, you can get tomatoes year round which means you can make this addictive dish whenever you want , but think how much better a seasonally ripe tomato is going to work here. That means that now is the time to indulge! So without further ado, here’s how—
First you simply grease a square pan with a little olive oil, line it with slices of crusty, sourdough bread and brush the bread with olive oil.
While the bread toasts in the oven, you core, peel and halve the tomatoes and prepare a little garlic oil mixture. Once the bread is golden brown, you top it with the tomatoes, some salt and pepper, a little of the garlic oil and some grated Parmesan.
Then you tear up the remaining bread, toss it into the oil and top the dish with those oil-infused pieces.
Another stint in the oven and the whole thing emerges, all hot, bubbly and crusty. YUM!!!
Yup, we’ll be making this all summer long—thank goodness it’s only the beginning of June!
Garlic Bread Tomato Bake
Makes 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes; Bake Time: 30-35 minutes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing bread
1/2 loaf sourdough country bread or Italian bread
5 ripe tomatoes (I used beefsteak)
3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
Kosher salt and black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450º F. Brush an 8 or 9-inch square pan with a little oil and set aside. Cut enough 1-inch thick slices of bread to cover the bottom of the pan. You might have to cut slices in half or into smaller pieces so that you get one layer. Brush the bread all over with some olive oil and bake for about 5-7 minutes, until it’s toasted and golden.
2. While the bread is toasting, core the tomatoes. Then trim the tops and bottoms and peel them as best you can. It will be a bit messy. Now cut the tomatoes in half horizontally through the middle. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix the 3 tablespoons of oil and garlic together and set aside.
4. When the bread is toasted, lay the tomatoes in a single layer across the bread, kind of pushing them down and mushing them up a bit. Brush with a little of the garlic oil. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and pepper and 2/3 of the Parmesan.
5. Tear the remaining bread into small pieces and add to the bowl with the garlic oil. Toss well to coat the pieces and then scatter across the top of the tomatoes, along with the remaining Parmesan.
6. Lower the oven to 400ºF and bake for another 30 minutes, until tomatoes are juicy and bubbling and bread is golden brown and crunchy. Let sit for a bit and then serve, spooning onto plates.
Note: Recipe adapted from Carla Hall’s Soul Food. I tinkered a lot with this—subbed out thyme and added some grated Parm instead—might use more next time. Also cooked this at a lower temp.