On the plane on the way home from Philly, I was reduced to reading the airline magazine. Happily, it included an article on eating in Asheville, with the recipe for the tomato gravy served at the excellent Early Girl Eatery. Good vegetarian gravies are a challenge, and this is a particularly nice one, IMHO:
Early Girl Homegrown Tomato Gravy
A beguiling use for the first tomatoes of the season. Serve over split and buttered biscuits for breakfast or, for dinner, alongside a plank of country ham or a slice of pork loin. (Well, I wouldn’t, but you might! – JP) This recipe affords leftovers which, pulled from the freezer, make a great base for pasta sauce too.
6 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 cups onion, diced fine
5 tablespoons flour
1/2 tablespoon basil, dried
1/2 tablespoon thyme, dried
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
In heavy saucepan, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Stir in flour and cook a minute or two to form a light roux. Add remaining ingredients, along with a bit of water if the mixture doesn’t appear soupy. Simmer on low for 30 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the tomatoes have almost broken down and the whole has thickened to the consistency of gravy.