Prep 20 mins
Cook 50 mins
Edna Lewis in Gourmet Magazine, 01/2008. You will get enormous pleasure from serving people this dish. The brown sugar in the dish is not to sweeten the dish but to mellow the acidity. Use a sturdy bakery bread for the crust not the pre-sliced white stuff!!
- 2 5⁄8 quarts whole tomatoes with juice (three 28 oz cans)
- 3 ounces unsalted butter, divided
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar (to taste)
- 8 slices bakery white bread (1/4-inch )
- Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.
- Butter a 3-quart baking dish (about 13 by 9 by 2 inches).
- Drain tomatoes, reserving 1 cup juice, then chop.
- Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then cook onions with 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic, allspice, cloves & red pepper flakes, if using, and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- Stir in tomatoes with reserved juice, thyme, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and briskly simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt remaining 1/2 stick butter and brush onto both sides of bread. Halve each slice.
- Transfer tomato mixture to baking dish and top with bread, overlapping slightly.
- Bake until bubbling and bread is crisp and golden-brown, about 20 minutes.