Smokey & Spicy Tomato Butter

I know, it is fall. It is October. Tomatoes are supposed to be over in terms of food blogging.

 I’m en route to an Oktoberfest celebration as I write this, but you see I found some great late late summer tomatoes at the farmer’s market. The very market I should have been going to all along this past summer. Figures I would find the one market I wanted visit near the end of the season. The Sunday farmer’s market in Harvard Square is convenient on the #86 bus from my neighborhood, about a 20 minute ride if I time it right, and it is a much more robust than the other  market I was going to on Friday afternoons. I saw a lady at the market holding up a sign for a winter’s market, so maybe I will have some place to wander after it really does get cold. Kale and sausage soups are on my horizon.

This created recipe is for small batch tomato butter. I was inspired by the bright and beautiful shape of the tomato I picked and by a recipe I found on a canning blog, as well the spice creations in  Savoring Spices and Herbs. I’d love to make it a project of mine to actually start canning but I figured since it wasn’t yet time for that adventure I’d only make a small amount of the tomato butter. The perfect amount to spread on crusty bread and melt mozzarella cheese on top of. The thick, sweet and spicy end result–kind of like a very special version of tomato paste with real depth of flavor–made my sandwich out of this world.

Smokey and Spicy Tomato Butter

Makes a small batch, about 1/2 cup of tomato butter

1 cup of very ripe tomato, crushed in your hands, with the juices
1/4 tablespoon of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/4 tablespoon of smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 teaspoon of salt
a pinch of ground mustard seed
1-2 teaspoons of sugar, depending on how sweet you want it to get

1. Place oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Cook the garlic until golden brown. Stir in the red pepper flakes/paprika/cumin and salt. Cook a few minutes more, stirring to keep the spices from burning.

2. Add the tomatoes with the liquid. Cook until it begins to boil.

3. Once boiling, lower heat. Add the sugar. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every so often, until the liquid has evaporated and what you have left is thick with spooned.

4. Once thick enough, puree in a food processor. Enjoy warm on meats/bread/pasta/grains or cool in the fridge to be a spread or dip. You can always reheat the butter too.


    I will try this. I have some San Morenos from the farmer's market. After reading Jason Morrow's articles, growing them is also a thought. Would like to leave Jason a link credit, but don't know how. Perhaps you can forward my address? Thanks, Helen

  • Stella

    Yum, Frances! This sounds so nice. I just planted some different types of tomatoes too, since we are entering into Spring here…p.s. Your blog looks great! I don't know how long it has looked this way, but it really is clean and wonderful looking;)

  • Pk

    This looks amazing. I wish I had a pile of tomatoes to make this right now.

    • L

      Thanks! Now that the farmer’s markets are back I hope to try this recipe again.