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tomato butter

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tomato butter

It’s not really butter in terms of texture but it’s a miracle product. I lifted the recipe from chef Matt Tebbutt who used it as pita filling. I didn’t like the skins floating about so I passed the lot through my newly purchased food sieve – I pass anything I can since I bought it - and that turned out to be the thing to do.

It is like sauce, but it’s not sauce; the combination of smoked paprika and tomatoes is a killer; and the best thing is it doesn’t separate even when gently re-heated.

tomato butter on toast

I’ve put it on bread and toast, of course, as you would do with butter – except it looks more like bread spread with tomato soup. Then I tried it on pasta and it worked a treat. Jacket potato, even rice, and it cheers up boiled cauliflower no end. Grilled or steamed fish will need nothing else than that as a condiment and you might even succeed to enliven roast chicken fillet with the butter.

You can make your own varieties: I imagine chili would be an interesting addition as would garlic, or both. Lemon zest, herbs, especially basil, you might even try anchovy paste in conjunction with unsalted butter. I’ve not tried those yet though, as I just can’t get enough of the smoky, sweet and buttery flavour of the original.

tomato butter

Servings: about a cupTime: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g (about a pound) ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100g (7 tbsp.) salted butter
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
cherry tomatoes


METHOD

Heat the oil in a pan large enough to fit the tomatoes in a single layer. Add them to the oil and turn up the heat. Sautee, tossing them in the pan, for a few minutes until they start to blister and char.

tomatoes in a skillet

Turn the heat down to medium and smash the tomatoes with a back of a wooden spoon or gently press down with a potato ricer. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until the juices thicken up and bubble. Add the smoked paprika and the butter, and swirl it around until it melts.

cooking tomato butter

While it’s still hot, pass the mix through a food mill with the largest sieve or through a colander (not a sieve; you don’t want it to be absolutely smooth but get rid of the skins) pressing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Alternatively blitz the lot with a stick blender. Decant the tomato butter into a bowl and chill to set.

tomato butter setting

Use it on toast, fresh bread, in sandwiches, jacket potatoes, as pasta sauce, stirred into steamed vegetables, as a casserole sauce, with ravioli or tortellini and as a mild, smoky tomato condiment.

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