Scalloped Tomatoes (Ina Garten)

This one was chosen by Josie of Pink Parsley Catering for the Barefoot Bloggers. First time making this one, it was a bit like a baked panzanella the problem with recipes like these is that ya can’t stop at one serve. I added some extra mozzarella on top.


  • Good olive oil
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch diced) bread from a French boule, crusts removed
  • 16 plum tomatoes, cut 1/2-inch dice (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12 inch) saute pan over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the cubes are evenly browned.

Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. When the bread cubes are done, add the tomato mixture and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil.

Pour the tomato mixture into a shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Serve hot or warm.


Saffron Rice



Saffron Rice


Pinch of Saffron

½ cup warm water

3 cups basmati rice

50g unsalted butter, cut into chunks



Put the saffron into the warm water & leave to infuse for about 15 mins.

Fill a large pot with water & bring to a boil, ( fill it about ¾ of the way up only otherwise it will overflow when you put the rice in )

Once the water has come to a boil, add a good amount of salt (this is the best time to salt the rice, as you do with pasta)

Put the rice into the boiling water & give it a gentle stir as it will sink to the bottom,  boil the rice for about 5 mins it should still have the slightest bite to it, drain rice into a  colander.

Return the rice to the same pot, drizzle the saffron over, place the chunks  of butter around the top of the rice,  place the lid on and return to a very low heat and cook for a further 15 to 20 mins. (you’ll know it’s ready when all the butter has melted through the rice).

When done fluff it up using a fork.

Serves 6-8

Because this rice is boiled first there is no need to measure the water, just make sure you have lots of it so the rice can roll freely and not stick together.

If you just want plain white rice, don’t add Saffron, still tastes great.

The rice can be made a day ahead, after draining and topping with butter, just refrigerate,  when ready place on  low heat and finish cooking.

If you’re not in a hurry you can also finish cooking the rice in the oven, just place the rice and butter into a deep oven pan, cover with foil then place in a low oven (100 to 120 celcius)  until you are ready to eat, I’ve done it this way quite a few times and have left it in the oven for over an hour.


This goes well with the Lamb & Spinach Curry.

Potato Bake

Potato Bake

Serves 6-8


 2 kilos of potatoes, sliced thinly

600ml bottle of cream

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 thyme sprigs, leaves removed

¼ cup of fresh chives, finely chopped

2 cups grated tasty cheese

Salt & Pepper


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, cream,  garlic, thyme, chives, 1 cup of the cheese, salt & pepper to taste until all the ingredients are coated with the cream.

Place into an ovenproof dish, with your hands press down on potatoes until the cream comes to the top.

Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese on top.

Bake for about 40 mins or until potatoes are soft when poked with a skewer, and cheese is golden.