You guys! Vegetables can jam too! Who knew?
Maybe you cool kids knew, but this gal was blown away by the results. I am familiar with strawberry, blueberry, and even that spicy red pepper jam stuff that was ALL THE RAGE a few years ago. But this jam is like a whole new creature. Okay, maybe more like a cousin, since we will use a similar jam making technique here, but it tastes like no other jam that came before. It is deeply savory, slightly sweet, and a little carmel-y. Like the flavor of caramelized onions and sweet tomatoes all cooked up into one spread.
And since we are at that end-of-summer place where days are warm, evenings are crisp, and tomatoes are juicy, bright, and plentiful, now is the time, people. NOW IS THE TIME.
Maybe you have a few tomato bushes, overflowing with bright and juicy gems, maybe you have a farmers market that is selling the most beautiful ruby red end of summer tomatoes you have ever laid eyes on, or maybe you have a grocery store that sells tomatoes. Please tell me you at least have that? I am sure you do, and I am sure you can make this jam.
When looking for tomatoes, I have a secret for you. Lean in real close…
You don’t have to pick the best ones. They can be slightly sad, a little bruised, be a touch overripe, and have a soft spot or two. That is perfectly okay! Our tomatoes are not entering any beauty pageants, they just have to be ripe and juicy. None of those pale red, slightly crunchy things that they disguise as tomatoes during the winter and spring. We need REAL tomatoes here. Really red. Really juicy. Really ripe.
Once you have picked out the perfect, albeit slightly sad, tomatoes and have hauled home your bounty, this jam is pretty gosh darn simple. You just chop up your tomatoes and add them to a big pot. Then, we’ll throw in some onion for extra flavor, some sugar to bring out the natural sweetness of the ‘maters, and some salt and a touch of vinegar to balance things out. Then we just let it cook until all the water has evaporated and it reaches a jam consistency. How easy is that?
Now the good part: Eating tomato jam in all the ways you can possibly think of.
You can dig right in while its warm, or have it later once its had time to chill in the fridge. Both are good options in my book.
I like to slather it on crackers. I love to toast a good piece of bread: spread on some hummus and then dollop on some tomato jam. It is the loveliest sandwich spread that ever was. It is the perfect addition to your cheese board, and I would not object to eating it straight off the spoon.
Tomato jam, how do I love thee? I count the ways.
- 4 lbs slightly sad tomatoes , chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 yellow onion , finely chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
Add all the ingredients to a large saucepan and simmer until very thick, about 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally, and more frequently as you are nearing the end of the cooking time. Once there is no water visible and the tomatoes resemble jam, remove from the heat. Store in jars in the fridge.