This delectable cross between an omelet and a bread pudding is one of the joys of the summer tomato season. It is called fritada in Sefarad Yemekleri, but in other cookbooks it is known as quajado de tomate. Quajado can mean “congealed, ” or it may be related to queijado, the Portuguese word for “cheesecake.” The Arab word for the earthenware cooking vessel called a cazuela by the Spanish was qas’ah, so the term is very ancient indeed. Janet Mendel, in her award-winning book Traditional Spanish Cooking, has a recipe for cuajado de almendra, an almond bread pudding, so the word is still in use in Spain. For this wonderful dish, only full-flavored seasonal tomatoes need apply.
Place the chopped tomatoes in a colander, sprinkling the layers with a little salt and a bit of sugar to draw out the excess moisture, and let drain for 1 hour.
Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl and add the soaked bread, eggs, parsley, and all but about
Bake the pudding until golden and set, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm directly from the dish.
© 2000 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.