Judith Hausman
August 22, 2012
Basil-Tomato Quick Bread

Photo by Judith Hausman

Add your own spin to this basil-tomato quick bread by substituting the basil with your favorite herb.

There are never too many tomatoes, are there? Still, we sure have a lot of them. To make them easier to deal with and before they go bad, I often just trim and toss all kinds of tomato varieties into a pot and let them cook down some. That gives me workable “raw material” and helps me not to waste the precious beauties. It briefly puts the bounty on hold until I figure out what I want to cook.

Salsa, sauce and soup are obvious avenues for these cooked tomatoes, but this weekend, I made basil-tomato quick bread instead. The crunchy, savory tomato bread slices are a sunny orange-red, flecked with bits of green basil and red tomato. Like any quick bread, it comes together easily and makes a wonderful, hot-weather meal with cheese and salad.

You can vary the herbs (try rosemary, thyme, marjoram, oregano, chives or lovage) in the basil-tomato quick bread recipe and throw in about ¼ cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes or chopped olives too. Substitute up to ¾ cup whole-wheat flour if you’re going for a coarser texture. If you’re in a pinch or out of high tomato season, V-8 or tomato juice will work in the tomato bread recipe as well.

Basil-Tomato Quick Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ¾ cup Flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes, including plenty of juice
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (low fat is OK)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Beat together the tomatoes, ricotta, eggs, oil and herbs. Add this mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, then remove from the pan.

Yield: 1 loaf

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