Shockingly Sweet Stewed Tomatoes

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Hap Townes was the proprietor of a small, blue-collar cafeteria that was a fixture in Nashville, Tennessee, for decades. It was a defining restaurant in Roadfood’s earliest days — our first taste of meat & 3 at its finest. Hap’s stewed tomatoes — his version of a favorite side dish throughout much of the South — are a great example of the extended-time cookery that transforms vegetables from something bland and virtuous into delectable mischief. These are great on the side of country ham.

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, including juice

8 slices white bread, well toasted

8 tablespoons butter

1 cup sugar

            Place tomatoes and juice in a large saucepan. Tear the toast into about four pieces per slice and add it to the tomatoes. Add butter and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm.

            6‑8 servings.

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