Stewed Tomatoes with Butter Toasted Croutons

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Stewed tomatoes with basil and freshly made toasted buttered croutons.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Stewed tomatoes is one dish I’ve never had any place but at home, cooked by my mother. I’ve never seen them on a menu anywhere, have you?

Too bad, too; as they are truly delicious, and so easy to make. Warning – do not skimp on the butter or sugar. The sugar is needed to balance the acidity of the tomatoes and the butter is absolutely necessary for the taste.

This batch was made with fresh heirloom tomatoes from the market; the better quality tomato you start with, the better the result will be. That said, during most of the year when farm fresh juicy tomatoes are not available we will make stewed tomatoes with canned tomatoes.

We also often mix in some cooked elbow macaroni instead of serving it with croutons. Oddly enough, stewed tomatoes of some sort is what we usually have to accompany tuna macaroni salad. Something about the over all mix of the flavors really works.

Stewed Tomatoes with Butter Toasted Croutons Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3

Ingredients

Tomatoes:

  • 3 cups cored, peeled, roughly chopped, fresh, ripe tomatoes (about 2 lbs)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 basil leaves, chopped

Croutons

  • 2 or 3 slices of crusty French or Italian bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Garlic salt

Method

1 Put peeled, chopped tomatoes, butter, sugar, salt and pepper into a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes or until tomatoes are cooked, soft, and the flavors have blended. Add chopped basil and add more butter, sugar, salt and pepper if needed for balance.

2 Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a small frying pan on medium heat. Add the bread cubes, and arrange in a single layer on the pan. Let gently cook on medium heat so that the bread dries out and gets slightly toasted. Turn pieces over to toast other sides. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the croutons are crunchy dry, and slightly toasted. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Remove from heat.

Serve stewed tomatoes with a few croutons on top of each individual serving, and the rest of the croutons available in a small bowl to add as desired.

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Stewed Tomatoes with Croutons

Showing 4 of 14 Comments

  • Catherine

    Hmm, stewed tomatoes on buttered toast are very English. Served by my English mother to us frequently, but she usually just opened a can. I sometimes broil fresh tomatoes instead, and also like to spread Marmite or brown sauce (like HP) on the toast after buttering. Especially good with granary toast…..

  • Susan

    What a beautiful recipe,loved it

  • Lisa

    Yummy! Brings me back to my childhood. Dad and I loved stewed tomatoes with a batch of Mom’s mac and cheese. A little mac a chees on the fork & a little stewed tomato and WOW!
    Love all your recipes – thx!

  • MelBoe

    I grew up eating this, but my mom mixed untoasted bread into the tomatoes but no basil. We always made this with liver and onions (and mashed potatoes.) It is still one of my favorite meals. As for seeing it on menus, you have not traveled south enough. I find it down here quite often, usually on buffets.

  • Amy

    I almost lived on stewed tomatoes while in college. It had the “soft and warm” quality that I was often looking for in order to keep home-sickness and the bracing cold of Vermont winters at bay. My favorite accompaniment, however, was a nice boiled potato (it was New England, after all). Yummy! Can’t wait to try your version.

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Stewed Tomatoes with CroutonsStewed Tomatoes with Butter Toasted Croutons