Monday, August 31, 2009

Green Tomato and Vidalia Onion Gratin

Since we received Aunt Ruby’s German Green tomatoes in our CSA bag, I wanted to do something special with them. I knew this recipe was what I was looking for. As I assembled the baking dish, layering the sliced green tomatoes with the caramelized onion stacks, crumbling the bacon, sprinkling the cheddar cheese, and finally topping with the bacon-dripping laced bread crumbs, I could not wait to taste this indulging concoction!

The gratin was beautifully browned and bubbling when I pulled it from the oven. When I cut into it, though, there was a fair amount of liquid, likely due to my very large, ripe green tomatoes. Luckily, the flavors were all there—absolutely delicious. Next time, I’ll try to draw out some of the liquid in the tomatoes beforehand.

Source: Green Tomato and Vidalia Onion Gratin, Claire Robinson

¼ pound bacon
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 large Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
4 large green tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
6 ounces sharp white Cheddar, grated, about 1 ½ cups

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Render bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Add the bread crumbs to a small bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the skillet and stir into the bread crumbs. Add the onion rounds to the skillet in batches and cook, without breaking the round slices apart, until there is some golden color, about 5 to 6 minutes per side.

To assemble the gratin, overlap the green tomato slices in 1 row in a large baking dish, about 9 by 11 inches. Next, make a row slightly overlapping of the partially cooked onion rounds, being careful to keep the slices intact. Repeat steps until all tomatoes and onions are used. Season tomatoes and onions lightly with salt and heavily with pepper. Crumble the bacon over the vegetables; sprinkle the grated Cheddar over the top followed by the bread crumbs. Bake until the cheese is bubbly, about 30 to 45 minutes. If the top is getting too brown, loosely cover with foil.

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