Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Trippin' with Tomatoes

Did you take our advice and spend last weekend enjoying the Food Network Food and Wine Festival last weekend in Atlantic City ? What were your highlights? As reported in the last issue of NJSL, Claire Robinson, host of Five Ingredient Fix, based an entire brunch around our state's pride, the Jersey tomato. Robinson presented everything from a shaved Italian ice infused with tomato and Van Gogh vodka to savory entrees and specialty cocktails. Miss it? The recipe for Tomato and Vidalia Onion Gratin follows.  Our thanks to The NYC Fashionista for the image-- check-out the blog for more great photos and coverage of the event.

Recipe courtesy of Claire Robinson 
1/4 lb. bacon
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs 
2 large Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
4 large GREEN or firm under-ripe heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
6 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated, about 1 1/2 cups 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  

Render bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove the cooked bacon along with 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat; pour the fat over the breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Add the onion rounds to the skillet in batches and cook, without breaking the round slices apart, until there is some golden color, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. 

To assemble the gratin, overlap the green tomato slices in one row in a large baking dish, about 9-x-11 inches. Next, make a row slightly overlapping of the partially cooked onion rounds being careful to keep the slices intact. Repeat steps until all tomatoes and onions are used; season tomatoes and onions heavily with pepper and lightly with salt. Crumble the bacon over the vegetables; sprinkle the grated cheddar over the top followed by the breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 - 45 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly; if the top is getting too brown loosely cover with foil.

Yield: 4-6 servings
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