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Tomatoes With Brown Butter

Sliced tomatoes with brown butter on two plates.
Photo by James Barker

When asked my favorite way to serve slicer tomatoes, I always reply, “with brown butter, black pepper, and salt.” There is something about the nuttiness of brown butter that takes peak-season tomatoes to a whole new level. Our favorite tomatoes to serve this way are classified as brown tomatoes, which tend to have a meatier, more robust, umami-forward taste than green, red, or orange types. A seed called Paul Robeson has been a favorite to plant since our first year, and when combined with a decadent drizzle of brown butter, it takes on a mystical, toasty flavor. To dress this dish up, feel free to add a few briny capers, delicate slivers of shaved sweet onion, a scattering of earthy chanterelle mushrooms, or petite leaves of fresh basil.

This recipe was excerpted from ‘Flavors from the Farm: Vegetable-Forward Food to Share’ by Emma Hearst. Buy the full book on Amazon. Get more tomato recipes

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What you’ll need

Recipe information

  • Yield

    Serves 4 to 6


8 to 10 Tbsp. butter
1 to 2 dashes sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 slicer tomatoes
Maldon salt
Baguette or toast, for serving


  1. Step 1

    In a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. At first the butter will begin to rise and foam and then water will begin to evaporate, allowing the milk solids to darken. Watching closely, continue to cook the butter until it becomes dark brown and smells nutty. Then add the vinegar, a pinch of kosher salt, and a few cracks of pepper, stir, and remove from the heat. Set the pan aside in a warm place so the butter remains a warm liquid.

    Step 2

    Moments before serving, slice the tomatoes about ⅓ inch thick and arrange them on a platter or individual plates. Bring the platter or plates to the table, drizzle the warm brown butter over the top, and finish with a sprinkle of Maldon salt. Apply any additional finishing touches (see headnote) and cracks of pepper. Eat the tomatoes right away while the butter is still hot. Mop up the remaining fatty juice with great bread.

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Excerpted with permission from Flavors from the Farm: Vegetable-Forward Food to Share by Emma Hearst. Photos by James Barker. Copyright © 2024 Weldon Owen. Buy the full book from Amazon.
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