Tomato Rarebit

Monday 10 July 2017

Ever had a night when you are decidely lacking in inspiration, and time . . .  not to mention ingredients and yet you are starving?  I reckon we all have nights like that!  This recipe is perfect for those kinds of nights.  A bit old fashioned, yes.  A really old recipe, yes, undoubtedly.  Delicious, yes!  Its also quick and very easy to make.

This is a recipe which I adapted from a cookerybook entitled "The Supper Book," by the late Marion Cunningham. Published in 1992, it is a compliation of just what it says . . .  supper dishes . . . old fashioned, nursery type of dishes . . .  dishes that evoke the feelings of comfort and home. Economical in many instances and all delicious.  I have always loved this book.

I have long been a lover of tinned tomatoes.  I could just sit down and eat a tin with a spoon with only a piece of buttered white bread on the side.  This recipe speaks to that deep rooted love.  Simple ingredients put together magically to create something that is quite, quite tasty, and surprisingly hearty.

The original recipe called for finely chopped fresh tomatoes, two medium, and their juices.  I did not have any, and so I used the tinned tomatoes.  I am not overly fond of tomato skin in my food, so if that is you, and you are wanting to use fresh tomatoes, skin them first. You will thank me for that hint.

I am not sure what purpose the baking soda provides, so I left it in.  In the original recipe it was stirred into the chopped fresh tomatoes. In my version, I just stirred it into the tinned tomatoes.

I suspect this is quite British in its roots.  The Brits love meals served on toast.  Scrambled egg on toast, tinned tomatoes on toast, beans on toast, poached eggs on toast, spaghetti on toast, mushrooms on toast.  They just love to plunk things down on toast and then dig in.  Small wonder.  Toast, in my humble opinion, just makes most things taste even better!

*Tomato Rarebit*
Serves 4
A simple and delicious old fashioned dish that cooks in one pan and is great for those nights when you are starving and lacking in inspiration.   

2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten in a beaker
240ml milk, heated (1 cup)
185g grated strong cheddar cheese (1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp dry mustard powder
390g finely chopped tomatoes in juice, undrained (2 1/2 cups)
1/4 tsp soda.
salt to taste
a few dashes hot pepper sauce
8 slices hot buttered toast to serve 

Mix the soda into the tinned tomatoes and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for several minutes, until all the flour taste has cooked out, without browning.  Whisk in the milk slowly and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken.  Temper the eggs with a bit of the hot mixture to help prevent them from curdling. (This involved whisking some of the hot mixture into the eggs a bit at a time, about 1/4th of it.)  Whisk the egg mixture into the remaining hot mixture along with the tomatoes, undrained, dry mustard powder and cheese.  Cook, stirring constantly until the cheese melts and the mixture thickens.  Season to taste with salt and a few dashes of hot pepper sauce.  Serve spooned over hot buttered toast. 

Note - any leftovers are great mixed with cooked macaroni.  Place into a casserole dish, cover with more grated cheese and bake until heated through and the cheese on top is melted and bubbling.

This is the type of dish we both love very much.  Simple, delicious and comforting.  It's perfect for a weeknight, and it doesn't heat up the kitchen.  All you need is a simple salad on the side and dinner is served!  I had mine on whole wheat toast. Todd had his on white toast.  Both are good. Bon Appetit!

Note - The tomatoes I used for this are the Cirio Polpa Fine chopped tomatoes.

Round tomatoes, deseeded, peeled, finely cut into pieces. This exquisite range offers four recipes, all with the taste and bouquet of Cirio’s authentic Italian tomatoes. They are all perfect as a base ingredient to prepare pasta sauces and enrich other recipes:

• Finely chopped tomatoes with a pinch of salt
• Finely chopped with a pinch of salt and a hint of basil
• Finely chopped tomatoes with a pinch of salt and chilli
 • Finely chopped tomatoes with a pinch of salt, garlic and onion.

The small, lightweight light Tetra carton allows for easy stocking in your kitchen cupboards and it’s easier and safer to open than glass bottles or tin cans. Plus, as well as being convenient, the packaging is eco-friendly and reduces waste, which is in tune with today’s environmentally conscious consumer.


  1. This dish sounds easy and delicious. I shall try it out though with the fresh tomatoes we have during the summer. I grate the tomatoes and all is left is the skin which you throw out....preferably on the compost

    1. What a super tip Linda! I am going to try that! Thanks! I hope you do try this and like it. I think its delicious! xo

  2. Hi Marie, I will indeed try this recipe. Sounds great! I love any kind of Tomatoes and Gravy. The Baking soda is used with the Tomatoes, to help cook out excess acid. Thanks for great recipes. Dale

    1. Thanks for that information Dale! Much appreciated. I hope you enjoy this recipe too! xo

  3. Hahaha I thought it was having to do with brains..or rabbit:)

    1. OH, lol. No rabbits or brains have been harmed in the making of this recipe Monique, lol xo

  4. I think the baking soda is to decrease the acidity of the tomatoes.


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!