There are no eggs or cream in this savory bread pudding as the moisture comes strictly from the coarsely pureed tomatoes. There is a little bit of prep that needs to be done to the tomatoes before you can pulse them in the food processor. First, the skins need to be removed - the easiest way to do this is to cut a small X in the bottom and then place them in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Immediately drop them in icy water and you will be able to quickly slip the skins right off. Next, the tomatoes need to be halved, cored and seeded - it may seem excessive, but you don't want too much liquid or the end results may be too soggy. Once the tomatoes have been prepped, they are chopped in the food processor with seasonings and a handful of fresh sweet-scented basil leaves.
For the bread, we used a sourdough baguette - once cut into cubes, it is drenched in melted butter and tossed with the chunky fresh tomatoes and basil. The bread pudding bakes until the top layer is golden and crisp, but the bottom layer is still moist. A generous shower of Parmesan cheese coats the crusty top and is left to finish baking until the cheese has melted into and through the cracks and crevices left from the chunky pieces of bread. Jeff tends to sigh when I say I'm making a bread pudding as he has issues with that mushy texture that some get - however, he eagerly devoured his plate as the bread retained its integrity and was not too soft. With no other flavors muddling the taste, this dish was so fresh and clean tasting. Once we placed our plates in the sink and sighed that we didn't double the recipe for leftovers, we decided we must hit up the farmers market tomorrow morning to see if we can finagle a few more of those lovely tomatoes.
*Don't forget - if you have to store your tomatoes, it is best to keep them outside of the refrigerator for best flavor!
Tomato Bread Pudding