Tomato Sandwich Bake
- 5 cups sliced sandwich bread, coarsely cubed
- 3 lbs fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 handful fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 4 oz Graviera Kritis PDO cheese grated
- 2 teaspoons green goddess herb mix or Italian or Greek seasoning (to taste!)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Set aside.
- Heat some oil in a large skillet., brown the cubes on all sides. Remove to the prepared dish. Add the garlic and onion to the pan and sauté until softened. Add the tomatoes and seasonings and cook until the tomatoes soften and release their juices. Pour over the bread cubes in the pan and stir to evenly distribute. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake about 30 minutes or until bubbly.
- Can use Parmesan instead.
- I used largely yellow tomatoes but any color or variety except a pastier tomato like Roma should be fine.
When I was at our favorite old fashioned bakery for peach cake a few weeks ago I overhead a man order “box bread”. I asked him what it was and he got a dreamy, far off look in his eye and said it was a soft sandwich bread that he loves to make tomato sandwiches with.
We already had a ton of bread at home so I didn’t get any but I mentioned it to my husband. Friday was my birthday and we had ordered a cake. When he picked up, they had box bread fresh from the oven. He got a loaf but we didn’t get a chance to eat it right away because we ended up getting crabs for lunch and then did a day trip Saturday. It wasn’t exactly stale but it wasn’t at peak freshness either.
I didn’t want it to go to waste so I came up with this sort of casserole to use it up, along with some tomatoes I had bought to make shrimp salad BLTs with that were starting to get soft. I had bought this hard Greek sheep’s cheese at Lidl so I used that but easier to find Parmesan would work just as well.
I’m still not sure what box bread is. I had thought it was a Pullman loaf but it isn’t. When I google it, something called “Virginia Box Bread” comes up but all the recipes look very similar so I don’t know if it is a regional dish or just called that for some reason.
When I was a kid we would make grilled cheese with home grown tomatoes and this really reminded me of that but more herb-forward. I really liked it a lot and the leftovers were equally as tasty as it was the first day. I think the tomato box bread sandwich man would be pleased.