Side Dishes, “How Easy is That?”

I Heart Cooking Clubs assignment this week inspired by Ina Garten…While we are just now drifting into fall temperatures it is the perfect time to try new side dishes suitable for this type of weather, something hot, bubbly and cheesy.   Both of today’s recipes featured in Ina Garten’s  “how easy is that?” and a perfect way to get the last of the plum tomatoes and seasonal cauliflower to the table, both so easy and tasty.

I’m always looking for new and different sides and while summer might be the best time for tomatoes, I find that box of 3 pounds at Sam’s Club perfect for off-season recipes especially for roasted tomato soup and now a lovely scalloped tomato dish.  For two of us, I actually cut the recipe in half with just enough left to be warmed up and topped with a poached egg for breakfast or lunch.

My next dish was Ina’s roasted cauliflower and since I didn’t have Gruyère cheese I went with Fontina an parmesan.   I haven’t made cauliflower for quite some time and it is such a great vegetable to roast and quite different with something other than a gooey orange cheese poured over steamed or boiled cauliflower.

SCALLOPED TOMATOES slightly adapted and easily halved

Good olive oil
2 cups (1/2 inch diced) bread from a French boule (I used Sourdough)
16 plum tomatoes, cut 1/2-inch dice (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt (I used 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned basil leaves, lightly packed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often until the cubes are evenly browned.

Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. When the bread cubes are done, add the tomato mixture and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil.

Pour the tomato mixture into a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Serve hot or warm.

For the cauliflower:

Prepare a sheet pan brushing with some olive oil, cut the whole cauliflower into florets, drizzle with EVOO, tuck in few cloves of peeled garlic, season with salt, pepper, and toss.   Roast for 25-30 minutes in a 350º oven, turning often.  When the cauliflower is soft and browned a little, sprinkle 1 cup of grated parmesan and 1 cup grated Gruyère or fontina cheese, roast until the cheese is melted.

Both great side dishes with BBQ ribs.