I’ve always had a fascination with foods made from white bread. Growing up, we rarely had white bread in the house, the folks instead preferring a hearty rye bread or pumpernickel. I can recall things being dismissed as being “so white bread”…meaning boring or ordinary. And yet, as I passed the Wonder Bread factory on the subway, the smell made my mouth water.
I found this recipe in Real American Food by Jane and Michael Stern (Alfred Knopf, 1986), and the simplicity and yes…the absurdity of it tickled me. I’m not sure when I first made it, but it’s become a family favorite and a holiday staple ever since. I consider it a warm compote, and I generally make a double batch.
Yield: Serves 6-8
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, including juice (I use the San Marzano and crushed works as well as whole)
8 slices white bread
1 stick unsalted butter (8 TBS)
1 cup sugar
Toast the white bread on dark setting.
Place tomatoes in a large saucepan.
Tear toast into about 4 pieces per slice; add to tomatoes.
Add butter and sugar.
Simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm.
- Thanksgiving 2011: Tomato-Olive Stuffing (thebittenword.com)