Crispy bread, soft summer tomatoes with parmesan, bacon & blue cheese combine to make this au gratin recipe the only one you will ever want!
I’m starting to see fall recipes trickling in. Blogs that I follow, magazines on stands, even as I’m shopping and trying to decide what to make. School is rapidly approaching which always signals the end of summer even if the weather doesn’t agree. I’m not quite ready to ditch the peaches, tomatoes and fresh corn, however. No, there’s plenty of time for hot stews and pumpkin flavors. I’m holding on to summer until the last tomato is picked.
My parents delivered more tomatoes to me, as did a former neighbor who stopped by for a quick visit. Some of the tomatoes were yellow and red cherry tomatoes, most of which were enjoyed as I’d walk by and grab a handful. I did manage to salvage enough to make this au gratin dish that I’d been dreaming up for the past few weeks or so.
I wanted an au gratin recipe that showcased the tomatoes without a lot of cream and cheese. I absolutely loved the Smoky Summer Corn and Tomato Au Gratin recipe I posted last week but I’d had my fill (I ate almost all of it myself for lunches throughout the week). This au gratin recipe needed to have completely different flavors as well as a different texture which could only come from whole cherry tomatoes.
The crispy bites of bread in this au gratin combined with the warm, soft tomatoes is absolutely to die for. I waited to add the blue cheese and bacon until the very end so the bacon would stay nice and crispy.
Definitely garnish your au gratin with a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley, it makes a huge difference in presentation. The second photo above doesn’t have the parsley and it doesn’t really “pop” without it. Not that it doesn’t still look delicious, especially in person! I had no problem eating them, parsley or no parsley. It just always amazes me that those little touches make such a big difference.
- 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/3 baguette, cut into small bite-sized pieces (about 6 inches from a long, thin french baguette)
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnishing
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Spray a pie dish or individual gratin dishes with cooking spray.
- Place the bread cubes with the tomatoes, garlic, parmesan, salt & pepper in a bowl. Add olive oil and toss until thoroughly combined. Place in baking dish, cover and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove gratins from oven and top with blue cheese and bacon. Continue baking uncovered for another 10-15 minutes or until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.