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.

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

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:

vicushuka/Getty Images

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. 


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend