Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One Great . . . tomato sauce

The tomato season is winding down, but it's not over yet. Around here, we usually have tomatoes well into September.

My friends at the Washington Post held a contest recently for readers' best recipes using tomatoes. (Man, I hate those guys - such good stories.)

One of the finalist recipes was this handy little thing called Tomato Butter, sent in by Nan Fuhrman of Seneca, Md. She uses it as a cracker spread, but I bet you could a bunch of uses, including a sandwich spread.

Tomato Butter

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
2 pounds dark, pulpy tomatoes, stem ends sliced off and seeds squeezed out
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

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

Transfer to a blender. Remove center from blender jar and cover with a towel to contain splashes. Puree until smooth. Strain if desired, then stir in liquid smoke and blend again on low speed. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Keeps about a week, covered.

Makes about 1 cup.