Tomato Butter 1.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Top Tomato 2012 Aug 15, 2012

With about 150 tomato plants in her garden, Seneca resident Nan Fuhrman says she has become "a somewhat renowned tomato-based chef." She and her husband throw an annual tomato party for some 100 friends and family members for which she sometimes makes as many as 35 tomato dishes. This is one of them.

Fuhrman serves it on Melba toast or crackers; we would also slather it on sandwiches as a substitute for mayonnaise or ketchup.

Make Ahead: The tomato butter can be made a week in advance, covered and refrigerated. Bring it to room temperature before using.

Servings: 1 cup
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (may substitute coconut oil)
  • 1/2 large Vidalia onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 pounds dark, pulpy tomatoes, such as Black Pear variety, stem end sliced off and discarded, juice and seeds squeezed or scraped out and discarded
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon mesquite-flavor liquid smoke


Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the onion is soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, paprika, brown sugar and salt. Cook uncovered until the mixtures thickens to the consistency of jam, stirring frequently and using a wooden spoon to break any large pieces of tomato, about 30 minutes. 

Transfer the mixture to a blender; remove the center from the blender lid and place a towel over the opening to contain splashes. Puree the mixture until it is smooth (strain, if desired, to remove any bits of skin), then add the liquid smoke and blend on low speed. Transfer to an airtight container to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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Recipe Source

From Top Tomato 2012 finalist Fuhrman, of Seneca.

Tested by Jim Webster.

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