tomato-PaintingWhoa, where did July go? It’s already over and being on vacation with a little guy means my cooking is pretty much at a minimum. BUT…a lady’s got to eat and so, I am pleased to present an easy, tasty, amazing recipe for tomato jam.

Tomato jam, you might say, how strange?! Let me say this: just because it didn’t start out sweet, doesn’t mean it wasn’t meant to be sweet 😀 One of the things I miss from South African food is all the tomatoes — tomato chutney, tomato-flavored potato chips, braaied tomatoes (a.k.a grilled), spicy ketchup, and other assorted tomato-goodness. I’ll admit, I am a fan of tomatoes. Why? Because they’re awe-some. If I had to eat just 1 thing, for the rest of my life, tomatoes would be it. Seriously, some of the simplest, healthiest, tastiest recipes require tomatoes –salsa, marinara, bruschetta, tomato soup –the list goes on and on. Where would humankind be without tomatoes? We’d have a whole less flavor and nutrition to work with in the kitchen, of that I am certain 😛

So yes, the star ingredient in this recipe is the tomatoes. Why? Because they’re cheap, they cook quickly, and they’re already tasty by the time you’ve bought them. Cooking tomatoes intensifies the flavor and either way, this veggie (or fruit, whatever) is good for us so we should all be eating more of them! Tomato jam is a very traditional thing in South Africa. In the U.S., or my newer home in Denmark – it’s a strange thing and not so common. But jam is so easy (too easy) I mean, just add sugar, tomatoes, water, and boil (watching and stirring once in a while too) and whala, you have jam. tomato-jam-on-bread

Tomato jam may sound like a unique ingredient but it goes great in a ton of things, spread it on slices of grilled cheese, as a condiment on a cheese plate, a heaping spoonful over a charred steak – keep in mind that despite the fact that these are tomatoes we’re talking about, this jam is super sweet, sticky, and of course very red 🙂

The best part is, this entire recipe needs only 4 ingredients, an hour on the stove, and you’ve got enough jam to butter sandwiches every day for a month 🙂 Keep in mind there is room for additions to the jam, like garlic, onion, or herbs. Add some spice or curry to the jam and you basically have tomato chutney 🙂 Remember that with jam, it’s okay if it’s chunky, just as long as the excess liquid is boiled off so the jam coats the back of a spoon and takes on an oozy, lazy-like nature. Nice to look at and easily preserved in jars, tomato jam could be used as a gift, condiment, or surprise ingredient. I say be creative and use it wherever you see fit, you’d be surprised how many things become irresistibly delicious with a dollop or two of tomato jam…

Sweet Tomato Jamtomato jam

Ingredients

2 cans diced tomatoes

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 lemon

(1) In a large saucepan, mix sugar, vinegar, and tomatoes (do not drain). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. (2) When bubbling, lower the heat and simmer, stirring often, for about an hour or until liquid has evaporated. (3) Add lemon juice to the jam and stir well, cooking for another minute. (4) Remove from heat and let cool, store jam in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 8 weeks.

Serves 8

Still_life_fruit_lobster_Alexander_CoosemansTomato jam is pretty tasty so if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it 🙂 My newest craving (I mean indulgence) is Lobster — I really wish that crustacean was less mindbogglingly delicious than it is. And so red too! I’m going to have to make some more of it soon…

My question: What is your favorite jam or marmalade? This can be fruit or veggie, maybe even a chutney (?)

8.2.13

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