This Is the Best Thing to Do With Tomatoes This Summer

It’s called tomato butter, and it’s both delicious and a snap to make.

It’s 4 p.m. and you’ve just found out that seven friends are coming over for dinner. You’re pressed for time and don’t have much in the way of ingredients, but you’re up for a challenge. 

That was the situation our podcast co-host Tom Philpott found himself in a few weeks ago. He had just a couple of hours, a bit of fresh pork, canned tomatoes, and a pantry with the basics. He called up food writer and host of The Splendid Table, Francis Lam, who offered a brilliant solution.

Listen to Lam’s step-by-step instructions on his take on tomato butter (the segment begins at 15:50):

“Basically, I’m getting you a hack that’s going to save you some serious time,” Lam said. Here’s his recipe, in a nutshell:

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Set your oven to 350 degrees. Purée your tomatoes (fresh or canned), and pour a thin layer onto a sheet tray. (You may want to use multiple sheet trays if you have a lot of puree.) Allow the puree to bake, stirring in a little olive oil or herbs, though not too much. Bake it until it’s reduced to a jamlike consistency. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and let cool. Put the puree in a food processor with a small amount of butter. Voilà! Spread this sweet and rich tomato butter on toasted bread. You can also spread sautéed ground pork or beef on top.  

If you’re not a fan already, check out The Splendid Table on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Also in this episode of Bite, we talk to Politico senior food and agriculture reporter Helena Bottemiller Evich about what farmers do when they get sick.