This is undoubtedly the simplest, most brilliant recipe I have come across in ages. An irresistible combination: sweet, fleshy tomatoes and nutty brown butter. The hot, foamy butter sizzles as it splashes over the cool tomatoes, and the resulting juice is glorious to mop up with crusty bread. Try it while ripe local tomatoes are still plentiful, or you’ll be stuck drooling with anticipation until next summer!
Brown Butter Tomatoes
- 2 large or 3 small ripe beefsteak tomatoes
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Flaky sea salt, like Maldon
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- Baguette or other country bread, for mopping up the butter
1. Core the tomatoes and slice them 1/3-inch thick. Divide the tomato slices among 4 plates, overlapping the slices just a little.
2. Place the butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan and set over medium low heat. Let the butter melt completely. It will begin bubbling. Let the butter simmer away, cooking off its water, until it begins to smell nutty and brown. Swirl the pan every 30 seconds or so. When the butter turns the color of a hazelnut, remove it from the heat. Use a soup spoon to ladle it over the tomatoes. They’ll sizzle! You want to dress the tomatoes with the butter as if you were pouring ganache over a cake — be generous!
3. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, then rush the plates to the table so everyone can taste the tomatoes while the butter is hot! Mop up the butter and tomato juices with good bread.
Serves 4 as a first course, 2 as a light lunch