I’m thinking it is going to be a long week. Today, I woke up thinking it was Saturday! We do a carpool with a friend and I totally spaced and forgot it is my week to take the boys to school. Oops! I’m going to blame it on the weather. It has been rainy, dark, and cold. My brother and I both agree that our mother conditioned us to sleep when it was rainy weather. When we were kids rain always meant nap time. I’m going to have to have a talk with her about that. lol
Thankfully, we have had a couple of sunny days in between rain storms. I’m using every chance I can to get outside and take advantage of the warmth. I’m not ready for winter…I still have lots of summer vegetables and herbs to use up. I love the combination of fresh mozzarella, fresh tomato, and fresh basil. I serve up this combination in many ways, such as Margherita Pizza and Pasta Margherita. Continuing on my quest to use up my fresh basil and tomatoes, I decided Fresh Caprese Gratin would be a perfect side dish…
The color of food can often tell you about its nutritive quality. The bright redness in a tomato comes from lycopene. Lycopene isn’t the only antioxidant found in tomatoes, you also get beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin. Antioxidants help prevent against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress on the skin leads to wrinkles and signs of aging. Antioxidants in our body have to be replenished to help slow down this process. Antioxidants also help protect against cell damage to lower your risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides are some benefits you can reap from eating tomatoes, leading to better heart health.
1 large tomato
Fiber 2.2 g
Calcium 18 mg
Magnesium 20 mg
Potassium 431 mg
Vitamin C 25 mg
Folate 27 µg
Vitamin A 1516 IU
When baking you want to keep a close eye on the gratin. You want the mozzarella soft, but not melted.
- 1 slice wheat bread
- ½ Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 1 basil leaf, chopped
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella, thickly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Combine bread, parmesan, basil, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process into a crumb mixture. Add olive oil and pulse a couple of times to combine. Set aside.
- Assemble gratin by alternating tomato and mozzarella in layers in individual gratin dishes.
- Drizzle each dish with ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Top with crumb mixture.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until topping is lightly golden. You want cheese to be soft, but not melted.
- Garnish each with 1 thinly sliced basil leaf.
Oh my goodness, you will not believe how delicious this Fresh Caprese Gratin taste. I love the warm tomato and soft, creamy mozzarella with the savory topping. I could eat one of these by itself! Fresh Caprese Gratin has the wonderful flavors of a Caprese salad in a delightfully fragrant baked dish. Fresh Caprese Gratin is a perfect side for grilled steak or chicken.