Roasted Tomato Gratin with Poached Eggs

Okay. I’m bringing out an oldie but goodie. It really is a great one for late summer when tomatoes are plentiful, but we get great tomatoes now year-round and this is good for a cold day. –Leanne Smoliak

4 T extra virgin olive oil
2 c good quality crusty baguette, hand-torn or cut into ¾-in. pieces
1 clove garlic, smashed
3½ c cherry tomatoes, whole
½ t sugar
½ t salt
pepper, few good grinds
¼ c white wine
1 oz grated Parmesan
8 eggs
2 T chiffonade (chopped fine) basil

In a large sauté pan on low to medium heat add 3 T of the olive oil and heat, add the bread and toss to coat. Stirring regularly, toast until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl. In the same sauté pan on medium-high heat add the rest of the olive oil and the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. The idea is to blister the cherry tomatoes. This means the skin starts to break and the juices start to come out. When that is done add white wine and bring to a simmer over high heat for 1 full minute until flavours blend.

Add toasted baguette and transfer to gratin dish or shallow casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan and put into a preheated 350ºF oven for 10 minutes.
To poach eggs, have a large pot of water ready on simmer (at least 4” deep water). Add 1 T white vinegar to the water. Crack each egg in a ramekin first and then pour that egg into the water. Only cook 4 eggs at a time. ALWAYS use a timer. For a firm white and runny yolk you want to poach 3-4 minutes. (the Smo’s like a 3- minute egg.). Once the timer goes off, use a slotted spoon to remove the poached egg and gently dab with paper towel. Put each egg on a slightly buttered piece of parchment. Each egg must have its own piece.

Once all the eggs are done, take the gratin out of the oven and slide the eggs off of the parchment on to the gratin. If the eggs got a little cool, the gratin will heat them quickly. Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately. This goes well with ham, sausage or good old-fashioned bacon, Irving’s of course.

Serves 4.