Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tomato Gratin with Arugula Walnut Pesto

The wonderful Karina (one of my absolute favorite gluten free bloggers) inspired this recipe with her Pesto Zucchini Tomato Gratin, which I have made and LOOOVED.  Perfect use for those amazing waffle bread crumbs and for your favorite pesto.  Recently I've also experimented with a roasted red pepper pesto over salmon. This was my first attempt at a straight up arugula pesto and it was pretty darn tasty.  And after my last pesto obsession ended in a case of pine nut mouth, I went with walnuts for this one.  Omit the parmesan for vegan/casein free pesto.

And you should know that both my boyfriend and I are not the biggest tomato fans.  We both have serious texture issues with the gushy inside and tend not to feature them like this in a recipe.  So this preparation style for them is just THAT good. Another meatless monday, easy peasy. This probably takes a total of 30 minutes once ingredients are gathered, since the prep work is quick and pretty effortless with the help of your food processor.

Tomato Gratin with Arugula Walnut Pesto

Tomato Gratin
4 cups sliced roma tomatoes (1/2 inch thick slices)
1 cup gluten free bread crumbs mixed with a 1/2 tsp of parsley and oregano and 1 tsp of thyme and basil

balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
EVOO, for drizzling
parmesan cheese (thin slices of fresh mozz would be great here too)

3/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup of walnuts
4 cups of arugula, stems removed
1/2 to 3/4 cup EVOO

Preheat oven to 375.

Begin my making pesto, using a food processor.  Add garlic.  If adding whole cloves, process until minced.  Or add minced garlic.  Add arugula, parmesan (if using) and walnuts and process on high, slowly pouring EVOO until mixture reaches desired texture, adding at least 1/2 a cup.  Set aside.

Spread a thin, even layer of pesto in the bottom of a 11x9 baking dish.  Press half of tomato slices into pesto. Drizzle with balsamic and EVOO.  Sprinkle with parmesan.  Top with 1/2 of the bread crumb/herb mixture.  Press other half of tomatoes on top, layering. Spread another thin pesto on top of tomatoes. Drizzle with balsamic and EVOO.  Sprinkle with parmesan and top with bread crumb/herb mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and tomatoes are cooked through.

Delicious over pasta with half the remaining pesto and a big splash of lowfat milk or fat free half and half , or simply prepared risotto rice again mixed with half the remaining pesto.  Also lovely as a side to grilled fish or chicken.

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