Gardening Partners

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Gardening Partners Cooking Divas

Gardening Partners Cooking Divas

Joann & Judy, our very own Gardening and Cooking Divas have agreed to share their great recipes with a monthly column right here on the Gardening Partners website.  Each month will feature a new recipe, so make sure not to miss any!  Both of these ladies are expert gardeners and the creators of many delicious family meals from the everyday to the “company is coming” style.  For those who try their hand at recreating these dishes, be sure to share your experiences and photos.  

Joan Levering is the Silver Spoon Winner

 June 2017 for her Shrimp Cocktail

March Silver Spoon Winner & Guest Diva

Marylou Ernst



February Silver Spoon Winner 


Guest Diva

Melissa Walker


This dish reminds me of summers I spent as a child at my grandparents house in South Georgia. At meals, my grandmother would always have a casserole of tomatoes on the table. This version is updated to use healthier ingredients.
An easy recipe to use up all those extra tomatoes that you grew, canned, or froze during the summer.  You will always have most ingredients on hand. Instead of fresh garlic and basil, you can use 1-2 tablespoons of Basil Pesto.  Adjust herb seasonings to your own taste or experiment with some of your favorites.  Great for Pot Luck dinners and easy to double. Hope you enjoy!
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups crusty wheat/rye/sour dough bread cubes
16 plum tomatoes, peeled & chopped (about 2 1/2 lbs) or 28 oz can tomatoes, not drained
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp sugar or stevia equivalency
1 tsp kosher salt or herb salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
1 cup Parmesan or cheddar cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12 inch) saute pan over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil. Cook over medium to medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the cubes are evenly browned.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. When the bread cubes are done, add the tomato mixture to bread cubes and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
  3. Off the heat, stir in the basil.
  4. Pour the tomato mixture into a greased shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Serve hot or warm.
Serves 4-6



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