A jar of sun-dried tomatoes provides plenty of character alone, but that and half an hour gets you a deeply dreamy condiment you'll never stop reaching for. Rich and potent, a little goes a long way, and makes a table of munchies feel like a treat.
Start with the tomatoes in oil, and use that heap of flavor to fry onions, the tomatoes, and paprika, then sweeten the mix with a little brown sugar and bourbon. Simmer, puree, and grab the crusty bread.
In the unlikely event you get tired of using it as a spread, add a spoonful to your favorite hummus, other bean puree, or tofu spread to liven up your routine.
Sun-Dried Tomato Butter
yields about 3/4 cup
8-oz jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil with herbs
1 small yellow onion (or half a medium-large), thinly sliced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp fine sea or kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 TBSP turbinado (or brown sugar)
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup water
Drain the tomatoes and reserve the oil. Heat 1/4 cup reserved oil (save the rest for another purpose) in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions, reduce heat to medium-low and let fry, stirring occasionally, until onions are beginning to brown, 5-7 minutes.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the tomatoes. When the onions begin to brown, add tomatoes, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook another 3 minutes. Add sugar and cook another minute, stirring, to combine well.
Increase heat to medium. Add bourbon and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low to maintain a steady simmer. Let simmer, covered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (At no point will your mixture reduce so much that it's in danger of sticking, but check every five minutes and give it a stir.) Remove from heat and let cool a minute.
Carefully transfer mixture to a wide-mouth quart jar and puree with an immersion blender. Let cool completely before storing in the fridge.