Makes 4–6 servings | 25 minutes active time
1 loaf of sourdough or fermented bread from a local bakery
4–5 ripe heirloom tomatoes (can be from the freezer from summer harvest)
1 cup miso, matured at least 6 months if homemade
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
Take one part miso and add equal parts softened butter. Mix thoroughly and then add miso until the mixture is rich and delicious but doesn’t taste prominently of butter. This mixture will taste “salty” and should be pretty strongly flavored. The final miso butter can stay refrigerated for two weeks. Bring to room temp before using and paddle until smooth.
Put 6 cups of salted water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Make an ice bath (at least 6 cups water, 4 cups ice in a deep bowl). Score the non-stem end of tomatoes with an X and plunge into boiling water for 5 seconds. Plunge immediately into ice water for 2-3 seconds. Repeat with all tomatoes. Remove from ice bath, core tomatoes, and remove the skin. If tomato skins do not slip off easily, repeat the hot/cold water plunge. Quarter tomatoes in a bowl. Reserve all tomato flesh, seeds, and liquid.
Warm tomato flesh, seeds, and liquid in a sauté pan until uniformly warm. Do not bring to a boil.
When ready to serve, toast thick slices of the bread on a grill or under a broiler until crispy on one side and warm. Put a generous smear of room-temperature miso butter on the bread, then begin layering warm tomato pieces on the bread. Finish by pouring tomato water over the bread and onto the plate. If desired, add blanched and shocked green beans to the dish to finish.
Serve immediately. Note: for softer, more Pappa al Pomodoro texture, warm bread in the oven but do not allow it to crisp on one side.