This recipe kicks around in one of my binders on a dog-eared index card and is dated 2004. There have been many tomato bread pudding recipes this season but this one has been my favorite, not only because it was my first. As we meet the misty end of another season of tomatoes, I hope you enjoy this parting shot.
Tomato Bread Pudding
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds heirloom or garden-fresh tomatoes
1 pound green tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided
10 cups cubed Italian bread, crusts removed
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
8 large eggs
1 cup coarsely grated fontina cheese
1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 handful torn basil leaves , more to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter a 3-quart shallow baking dish (about 13 by 9 inches).
Toss tomatoes in a bowl with the olive oil, herbes de Provence, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, in a large heavy 4-sided sheet pan.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Grease a large casserole.
Whisk together milk, cream, eggs, 1 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in cheeses. Add bread and allow to sit 1 hour. Just before baking, stir in basil until evenly combined. Transfer to the casserole dish. Bake until firm to the touch and golden brown in spots, 50 to 60 minutes.