Tomato Bread Pudding

Recipe courtesy of Marilou Suszko

Makes 6 servings – only make this recipe when you have perfect ripe summer tomatoes!

Ingredients:

2 ½ pounds ripe red heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded & diced
¼ cup white wine (chicken stock may be substituted)
¼ cup raisins
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
6 cups day old bread, crust on, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (4 oz shredded) Swiss cheese
 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.

In a small saucepan, combine the tomatoes, wine, raisins, basil, thyme, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the butter and cheese. Add the tomatoes mixture and toss again. Spread the mixture in a prepared baking dish in an even layer, pressing down to compact and bake until golden brown crust forms, about 25-30 minutes. Let rest at least 15 minutes before serving.

To prepare tomatoes: 

Cut a small x in the bottom of each tomato. Plunge into boiling water for 30 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle slip the skins off and scoop the stem and core. Cut the tomato in half across the equator, hold over bowl and squeeze gently. Most of the seeds should come out. Then proceed to dicing the tomatoes. Place a strainer over the pot you intend to use for cooking and strain the discarded seeds to capture the juices squeezed out in the pan.