This recipe uses unsalted butter. If using salted butter, reduce the salt and garlic salt in the recipe.
The sugar balances the acidity of the tomatoes. Use less or more to taste.
- 3 cups cored, peeled, roughly chopped, fresh, ripe tomatoes (about 2 pounds), OR one 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 6 basil leaves, chopped
- 2 or 3 slices of crusty French or Italian bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Garlic salt
1 Cook the tomatoes with butter, sugar, and seasonings: 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 Make the croutons on the stovetop: Melt 1 tablespoon 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.