Tomato and Cheese Auflauf

August 19th, 2009  |  Published in All, Around the World, Basil, Cheese, Delectable Dairy, Honorable Herbs, Tomatoes, Veritable Vegetables, Weeknight Recipes  |  4 Comments

Tomatoes at the San Carlos Farmer’s Market
Tomatoes at the San Carlos Farmer’s Market (2006)

Auflauf, gratin, casserole…?  Because I am 1) living in Germany, 2) obsessed with french cookbooks, and 3) decidedly American at heart, I sometimes just don’t know what to call the things I make for dinner.  Gratin?  no… this isn’t elegant enough to be called a gratin.  Casserole?  no… this conjures images of canned tuna and cream of mushroom soup.  Auflauf?  what in the world is auflauf?? (answer: it’s the German word for casserole).  OK then, we’ll go with “auflauf”.  Besides, assonant words tickle my fancy… pow-wow, humdrum, teeny-weeny, sci-fi, potpourri, soporific… let’s add “auflauf” to the list.

Whatever one decides to call it, this is an incredibly simple dish to prepare. The only prep work is to seed and chop the tomatoes, chop an onion, sliver some basil, and mix the cheeses together.  There is no precooking (no sweating onions, blanching tomatoes, etc), so the dish comes together in about 10 minutes.

The end product has a fairly loose consistency, and spreads a little on the plate.  Creamy, fresh, and just a little spicy, the auflauf is delicious eaten on its own  or scooped onto warm bread.  And although I haven’t tried it, I imagine it would also be tasty spooned over pasta or polenta, or perhaps mixed with cooked whole grains for a summer grain salad (I am imagining a mixture of barley, farro, wheat berries, etc).  Or of course, you can follow the original idea from Simply Recipes and make it into a pie.

Long live auflauf! :)

Tomato and Cheese Auflauf
Adapted from Tomato Pie at Simply Recipes
serves 3-4, depending on accompaniments

~1 1/4 lbs ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/4 c. basil, slivered
Salt and Pepper
2 c. grated mixed cheese (suggestion: 2/3 c. mozzarella, 2/3 c. cheddar, 2/3 c. gouda)
3/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 T. Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil a medium sized casserole dish.

Spread chopped tomatoes over the bottom of the casserole, then sprinkle evenly with the red onion and basil.  Season liberally with pepper, and lightly with salt.

Mix the cheese, mayonnaise, and hot pepper sauce in a bowl, then evenly spread over the top of the tomatoes.  Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 45 minutes.  Enjoy!

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  1. Kelly says:

    August 19th, 2009at 10:28 am(#)

    Regardless of what you call it, it sounds beautiful. Anything that brings together cheese and tomatoes always gets my vote.

  2. maybelles mom says:

    August 19th, 2009at 10:54 am(#)

    I am tomato envious. We haven’t had a good season.

    And I am totally with you on assonance.

  3. Jen says:

    August 19th, 2009at 11:37 am(#)

    kelly — it is really delicious, and is actually quite pretty while still in the gratin dish. Once on the plate all bets are off…

    maybelles mom — I must admit, I made these with organic grocery store tomatoes, which were probably green house grown or brought in from Spain. Though of course I would prefer my lovely California heirlooms like in the photo, one must make due with what one has… and on a different note, I am so glad there exists a word to represent the sound of the word auflauf! :)

  4. Mary says:

    December 16th, 2012at 10:48 pm(#)

    We have just made and eaten this and it was delicious. I used home made pesto and left out the onion then served it with new potatoes and asparagus.

    What an appetising tea! So glad I searched for a recipe – thank you!

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