The following excerpt and recipe for Tomatoes with Brown Butter is from Emma Hearst's cookbook "Flavors from the Farm." It features over 100 recipes — from beverages to soups to desserts — celebrating fresh food from her Upstate New York farmstead. It's available for purchase on Amazon.

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, apply nothing more than a few briny capers, delicate slivers of shaved sweet onion, a scattering of earthy chanterelle mushrooms, or petite leaves of fresh basil.

Tomatoes With Brown Butter

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:20 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • 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
Photo from Emma Hearst
  • 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 1/3 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.

    Photo from Emma Hearst

Reprinted with permission from Flavors from the Farm by Emma Hearst copyright © 2024. Published by Weldon Owen.