One the perks of working in the Loop is the close proximity to many farmers markets during the week. I am in walking distance of the farmers market at Daley Plaza every Thursday. It's definitely grown since I first started shopping there five years ago. I have picked up beautiful flowers, like the peonies in my banner, juicy, sweet fruit and freshly picked vegetables. When I signed up for my CSA, I picked Tuesday so that I could get additional ingredients as needed to supplement my share. We had some leftover French baguette from the goat cheese ball in basil oil earlier this week, so with the roma tomatoes from our CSA, I decided to make scalloped tomatoes with croutons. I only had a pound of tomatoes on hand, so I still needed another 1 1/2 pounds. I purchased them from Klug Farms this week, and they were beautifully red, aromatic, and round.
I cubed about 3 cups of bread for this recipe. It gets toasted in some olive oil on the stove while I prepared a succulent tomato mixture seasoned with fresh garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper. After the bread gets toasted, the tomato mixture is added. Once that has cooked for about five minutes, a half cup of fresh basil is added. (Are you sick of my basil recipes yet? Thankfully, we don't have basil fatigue around here.) The mixture is then transferred to a baking dish. It is finally topped with pecorino cheese. I missed the detail about grating it finely, so the larger pieces of grated cheese created a crusty topping that contrasted the stew-like texture of the layer underneath. I served it with a poached egg, but we didn't find it necessary. This was a very addicting and flavorful dish on its own. The tomatoes were so sweet and fresh in this dish. Be sure to make this when tomatoes are in season to really enjoy their flavor. Here is the link to the recipe.