When most people think of jam they probably think of fruits like blueberries, strawberries and grapes. I was the same way until I tried tomato jam at a tomato festival in Sonoma a few years back.
At first I thought the concept sounded kind of strange, but I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious it was. It was served on a grilled cheese sandwich and it pretty much blew my mind.
Just like other kinds of jam, the tomato version is made by boiling the main ingredient, tomatoes in this case, with sugar. However it's a little more versatile in that you can put a savory twist on it. With this recipe white wine vinegar, garlic, shallot and fresh rosemary give you a slightly sweet jam with a depth of savory flavor that will keep you coming back for more.
Preparing the jam is a total breeze. All you have to do is add the fresh tomatoes into a small sauce pan with the remaining ingredients and simmer until it's thickened. So while you have to be nearby to keep an eye and make sure you don't burn the house down, there's very little hands-on time to prepare it.
I prefer to spread my tomato jam on sourdough toast topped with almond cream cheese and sliced avocado. This makes for a great breakfast or light lunch that's super simple yet satisfying and delicious. It's also great on sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas, and crackers...really the possibilities are endless.
I used coconut sugar because it's what I had on hand. I like that it has a lower glycemic index than cane sugar and it gives the jam a somewhat caramelized flavor. However, regular cane sugar or brown sugar will work just the same.
Feel free to substitute the rosemary with your favorite fresh herb or add in other spices (such as cumin or smoked paprika) and flavors that you might enjoy. You can customize it anyway like it. Just don't forget the tomatoes!
- In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes, minced shallot, minced garlic, coconut sugar, vinegar, water, and salt. Bring the mixture to a low boil for about 5 minutes. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30-45 minutes, stirring intermittently, until it has reduced to a thick jam-like consistency.
- Stir in the dried thyme then set aside to cool completely. Transfer the jam to a sealed jar or container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.