One thing I have not had the time to do is create a family garden, other than a few porch containers where I have tried over the years to grow a few favorites. Mostly herbs like basil and sage were successful, but the tomatoes I have tried in various containers and methods, just haven’t cooperated with me.
I know I have not been good at the consistent watering, or how much to water. I like to blame crazy weather patterns that either steal the moisture (drought in the summers) or flood with unnecessary rain water (definitely this last year!). No matter how I water, there is either a drought or a flood on the tomatoes and other plants, so they don’t grow well or for long!
I love tomatoes and have always loved salads and dishes with tomatoes. As children, my sister and I used to help my father grow several vegetables in our family garden, including a few tomatoes. We grew up eating a variety of vegetables, and our mother has always been a great cook, and prepared vegetable dishes for every supper.
One of the only “casserole” type dishes that my father liked, and one that I still love today was the Scalloped Tomatoes that my mother made. This baked dish only had one main ingredient, the diced tomatoes, and the rest was seasoning and topping. This is the dish that I make now just for me (my husband’s not a fan of tomatoes), and I have enough leftovers for a couple of days. It’s a great lunch just on its own, or as a side dish for supper. And of course, it’s quick and easy!
When I had an abundance of tomatoes and squash, I realized that the squash would be a great addition, so I added equal parts of tomatoes and squash and prepared the same dish. It was better than I expected. I like squash casseroles, too, but this was a nice light dish with just the tomatoes, squash and seasonings and topping. Perfect without being too heavy.
Mama’s Scalloped Tomatoes
2 cans diced tomatoes ( or 3-4 freshly diced tomatoes)
2 slices of buttered toasted bread (or) 1 cup bread crumbs
1 small chopped onion
1/4/ cup sugar (or equivalent sweetener like Splenda)
2 Tbl. flour
Mix tomato, onion, flour and sugar. Top with buttered bread (that has been cut into cubes) or bread crumbs. Bake in 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.
***The butter from the toasted bread adds a lot of the great flavor, so if you are using panko or other bread crumbs, I would suggest you add a little melted butter before topping the tomatoes.
***The amount of tomatoes (especially if using fresh) is flexible, up to you. Just remember to add the flour, and adjust accordingly if you have especially juicy tomatoes! The flour helps to thicken the tomato juice and it’s pretty thin if you don’t add enough flour or thickener. Still tastes good, though!
***I had leftover garlic toast from the previous night, so I cubed up 2 pieces of garlic bread and used that to top the scalloped tomato mixture. Tasted fantastic! I may start adding that regularly!
For the Scalloped Tomatoes and Squash:
2 diced tomatoes (or 2 cans of diced tomatoes)
2 diced squash
1 small onion (chopped)
2 slices buttered toasted bread (or) bread crumbs
1/4 cup sugar or equivalent
2 Tbl. flour
Mix tomatoes, squash, onion, flour and sugar. Top as before with buttered toast (cubed pieces) or bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.