Sunday, January 31, 2010

Savoury French Toast with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus

At least my day started well!  That's all that I can say about the craziness that has been today.  I mentioned previously that I wanted to try a savoury French toast recipe.  I had found a new list of food blogs to check out this week and while I was going through them, I ran across a savoury French toast recipe.  Of course I had to make it.  The Val-Mont had skinny asparagus on sale, so I picked some up to add to the recipe, only to discover while I was cooking that the original also relies on asparagus.

I used slow roasted tomatoes with this, but sun-dried tomatoes would certainly also work well.  I know fresh tomatoes are best in the summer, but slow roasting is very forgiving of the tomato, so now might be a good time to make them and freeze the extras for later ... unless you want to be leaving your oven on for 4 - 8 hours in summer!  A full description along with links to other people's successes can be found here .  Essentially, to slow roast tomatoes, you cut them in half length wise.  Drizzle some olive oil on a baking dish.  Place tomatoes face up in the baking dish.  Scatter some garlic cloves with the skin still on between the tomatoes.  Sprinkle some Italian seasonings and salt on the tomatoes.  Drizzle it all with olive oil.  Then bake the tomatoes for anywhere from 6 hours at 200F or 8 - 12 hours at 150 - 175F depending on your schedule and your oven.  It will smell amazingly good while you're doing this!

The other main change I made to this recipe was to substitute ground mustard for spreading dijon mustard on the bread.  I was worried that the dijon would be overpowering since I'm not a huge fan.  This made about 2 servings.  Feel free to scale up or down.


4 slices of day old baguette
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp ground mustard
3/4 tsp mix of Italian seasonings
1/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
4 halves of slow-roasted plum tomato 
4 skinny asparagus, broken into 2 inch pieces

1.  In a wide, shallow dish, whisk together the cream, egg, Italian seasonings, ground mustard, and salt and pepper (start with a half teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Dip the bread slices into the egg mixture, turning to coat, and leave them to soak for about 20 minutes on each side. 
2.  Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Cook the asparagus in boiling water for about 3 minutes.  Remove.
3.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking dish or cookie sheet (with sides) with parchment paper.
4.  Place the bread slices on the paper.  Top with a tomato half.  Sprinkle a little cheese.  Top with equivalent of one asparagus.  Sprinkle with more cheese.
5. Place the baking dish in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until the bread is slightly browned on the inside and the tomatoes are taking on a little color.

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