This time of year, tomatoes are sort of like zucchini except that you can do so many more things with them. Besides, you never get tired of eating the ones from your garden out of hand with a little salt and pepper. On top of that, the season is almost over – at least around here, with color already showing up on the mountains – so you need to take full advantage.
If you are looking for something else to do with your tomatoes, this old-timey, simple recipe is excellent. It is one of my wife’s favorites. She remembers tomato gravy from her childhood. Her mother would often make it for lunch or a light supper, especially when Dad was out of town on a business trip.
Tomato gravy was also a favorite this time of year on our farm in East Texas. I suspect the dish had its origins in the Great Depression. There are several traditional Southern versions using bacon drippings and served over freshly baked biscuits. This is a “Yankee version.”
You can use store-bought tomatoes or even canned tomatoes, but the results will be a pale imitation of tomato gravy made with tomatoes just picked from the garden.
Serves 4 for lunch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large, ripe tomatoes, sliced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices toasted bread
- Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Arrange the tomato slices in the melted butter and sauté over medium heat until soft. Turn once to sauté both sides of the tomatoes.
- Stir in the flour and cook for a few minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
- Stir thoroughly to make sure the milk and flour are completely mixed. Raise the heat slightly to a gentle boil. Simmer until the sauce is thickened.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper
- Serve immediately over slices of toast.