Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Savory Parmesan French Toast with Tomato-Basil Topping

Sometimes I make a recipe not because I know that without a shadow of a doubt that it'll be awesome, but more so that I'm intrigued.  Sometimes it blows up in my face and we have cereal or grilled cheese for dinner, but sometimes it results in a great dinner - like this grilled chicken salad with blueberries and corn, okra tacos, chorizo and sweet potato lettuce wraps, or this blueberry-BBQ salmon.  You win some, you lose some.

We're all familiar with french toast for breakfast - topped with a pat of butter and fresh fruit, drizzled (umm drenched) with syrup... always a favorite.  But how about making a savory version?  For dinner, even?  This recipe definitely intrigued me, but coat pretty much anything with parmesan cheese and top it with roasted tomatoes, and I'm sure I'll love it.

And of course, I did.  The toast gets a double dose of the cheese - some is shredded into the egg mixture that you use to soak the sliced bread, then the rest is used to encrust the bread and form a cheesy crust.  The tomatoes are briefly roasted in the oven and come out just garlicky enough, slightly sweetened, and caramelized.  Mixed with a dash of balsamic vinegar and some fresh basil, and you have a super awesome topping for the cheesy toast.  I pretty much always have all the ingredients for this savory french toast on hand, so I foresee it becoming a staple in our house - for a quick and easy weeknight dinner, or a lazy weekend brunch.  Don't be scared - take a leap of faith and try savory French toast!

Savory Parmesan French Toast with Tomato-Basil Topping
adapted from America's Test Kitchen, Simple Weeknight Favorites
serves 4

  • 1 1/2 lbs grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 6 Tbs olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch sugar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbs chopped fresh basil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese + 2 cups shredded on the large wholes of a box grater
  • 8-10 (1-inch) slices Italian or French bread
Heat oven to 450 degrees and adjust the rack to the middle position.  Toss the tomatoes with garlic, sugar,  and 2 tablespoons of the oil.  Season with salt and pepper and arrange them cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast until the skins begin to brown on bottom, about 20 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a bowl and toss with the basil and balsamic vinegar.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a shallow dish with milk, flour, finely grated parmesan, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Spread the shredded parmesan in another shallow dish or large plate.

Working 4 pieces of bread at a time, soak the slices in the milk mixture for 5 minutes, flipping halfway through.  One at a time, remove each slice from the mixture, then transfer to the shredded parmesan, pressing gently on both sides to adhere the cheese to the bread.  Repeat with the remaining bread

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Cook 4 slices of bread turning once, until browned and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Transfer to a large plate and cover loosely with foil.  Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the remaining 4 slices of bread.

Serve topped with the roasted tomato mixture.


test it comm said...

Savory parmesan French toast is really good and I like this tomato topping!

Eileen said...

Savory french toast is an amazing idea--especially with those beautiful roasted tomatoes! I don't know why I've never thought of applying the savory concept to french toast. Thanks for the great idea!

Unknown said...

This is such a terrific idea - it looks and sounds amazing!! I'm thinking lunch one day next week for me since sadly my husband wouldn't touch it. His loss :)

Dana said...

What a novel idea! Definitely a fun twist for evenings where it is breakfast for dinner.

Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles said...

A savory french toast?! Sold. Thanks for sharing :).

Emily @ She Makes and Bakes said...

I have never even thought to make a savory french toast, but I love this. I think I could even get my husband (who hates french toast) to eat it! Thanks!!!

Joanne said...

First, savory waffles and now savory french toast! I love it. Now breakfast can legitimately be for dinner!

Anonymous said...

WHOA. Mind totally blown by savory french toast!!! Must make for lunch!

Julie @ Table for Two said...

I love the double dose of cheese that you gave the toast! I'm completely in love with the tomato-basil topping, it's so fresh and such a great summer dish for breakfast or dinner!

cathy @ Noble Pig said...

Wow, so, so, so yummy sounding, I can see why you did it!

Allyson said...

This looks so goood! I went to pin it, but when I use your pin it button it won't put a picture up! It just has a white page from flicker!!

Katie said...

Ummm this sounds amazing and is oh so brilliant!

Josie said...

Thanks, Allyson! I think I fixed it!

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