Condiment Corner: Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam

By 300 Sandwiches

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tomatojamI HAD to share this goodness in a separate post. You’ll want to grab any half-decent looking tomatoes you see at the market this week and make this sweet, seedy condiment fo’ yo’ self!

This weekend, I had plans: go to yoga, hit the farmer’s market in Downtown Brooklyn and make a sandwich with whatever fresh ingredients they had on hand. After working on my headstands and downward dogs at Equinox (ommmmm!), I hit the market. Surprised I was to see two whole tables full of freshly picked tomatoes. I thought it was too late into October for those, but it seemed this was one of their last truckloads from their harvest.

Upon sight of oversized heirloom tomatoes—some were the size of pumpkins, which the farmer’s market also had for sale—I started salivating about making my own tomato jam. E doesn’t like sliced tomatoes, which is why he usually eats them roasted, but I wanted to change up their presentation. Something about simmering tomatoes and spices and spooning it into Ball jars made me think of fall—and my mother, because it seemed like something she would be doing at home in Michigan.

I came home and threw tomatoes into a large pot, seeds and all, with one chopped green apple and a bunch of seasonings. I threw in some spice (smoked paprika and chili flakes) to offset the sweetness. Then I let it all cook on low for two hours while I assembled sweet potato burgers (which I’ll post tomorrow).

The results were RIDICULOUS. The sweet jam would go amazing on burgers, in tacos, on eggs, on crackers, with cheese or even on a spoon and eaten straight out of the pot! I shoved a taste into E’s mouth: “Wow,” he said. “This tastes like fall. This tastes like a garden. I’m impressed.”

Yes, you need two hours of spare time to make the jam. But, if you have laundry to do, or are catching up on episodes of “Glee” or “True Blood” or are waiting for the UPS guy to drop of your latest order from, pop some tomatoes in a stock pot with some seasonings and whip this up. Then try not eat the whole pot in one sitting. Save some for the sandwiches.

2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped (any tomatoes will do, I even threw in some on vine tomatoes we had in the fridge)
3/4 cup sugar
1 green apple, chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
juice from two lime wedges
1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all in a large pot. Mix. Bring to a boil, and then let simmer on low heat for two hours, stirring frequently. Let cool before serving or storing in jar or Tupperware. Yields about a pint.

Tomato jam recipes are like tomatoes themselves–no two are exactly alike. This recipe from Sassy Radish inspired me to try my own tomato jam. It has more ingredients, but yields 3 pints of tomato goodness.

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