I can’t think of anything more versatile and delicious than these tomatoes. I eat them by themselves. I eat them over rice, tossed with pasta, as a friend for fish, underneath steak, baked with eggs, and spooned next to squash. They are my ketchup, my marinara. Stewed tomatoes balance a lot of my plates and are a component for several recipes in this book. Make them with fresh tomatoes if possible, but canned will work in the wintertime. If gluten is a problem for you, try whisking in a third of a cup of cornmeal to thicken it up instead of using bread crumbs, or leave the starch out altogether for a slightly looser end result.
2 tablespoons butter
2 yellow onions, small-diced
3 teaspoons salt, divided
8 tomatoes, diced, with all the juice
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1 large stem fresh basil (about 1/4 cup of leaves, packed)
1/2 cup bread crumbs, preferably homemade
In a 4- to 6-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onions and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook the onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes until they have caramelized slightly. Add the tomatoes, remaining salt, garlic, sugar, vinegar, chili flakes, and basil. Cover and bring it up to a boil. Cook for 30 minutes. Uncover. Add the bread crumbs and cook an additional 5 minutes. The bread will cause the tomatoes to thicken up slightly. Serve warm, but be aware these are even better the next day.
From Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard. Copyright 2016. Reprinted with permission from Little, Brown and Company.
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