Do you have too many tomatoes and are running out of things to make? Salsa, Caprese Salad, spaghetti sauce, Pasta alla Vodka with Fresh Tomatoes are all great, but …
Or has the weather started to turn cold where you are and you are worried you will have unripened tomatoes? Fried Green Tomatoes, Green Tomato Chow Chow or even Green Tomato Bread are all possibilities.
But, I just made a recipe that you probably never thought of trying before: Tomato Preserves.
That’s right, a sweet jam made with tomato instead of berries, stone fruit or just about any other fruit you would normally associate with jam.
I got the idea from one of the moms in my son’s class. She said a friend from South Africa described it as a jam made with tomatoes and ginger that you eat like regular fruit jam or jelly and said it was quite popular in his home country.
I’d never heard of it, but I knew immediately I needed to find a recipe and give it a try.
Online produced a few results using red wine vinegar that looked promising. But, my husband
whines dislikes, whenever I make anything that involves vinegar, especially heated vinegar.
On a whim I checked my old Joy of Cooking cookbook and there it was! And this one used lemons instead of vinegar as an acid. Sounded tastier and much less offensive to a certain individual’s olfactory senses.
When I stopped at Tom’s Farms to get the lemon (and some of the best cheese popcorn on the planet) we just had to wander through the candy store which is also stocked with local honey, salsas and jams. Wait just a second, WHAAAAAT!?
I almost bought some to have a comparison, but saved my money and bought a wheel of Brie instead.
I used ripe Roma tomatoes that were on sale at the store. But here’s the great thing, you can use any tomatoes. Green, yellow, red. Heirloom, beefsteak, early girl, etc. I would stay away from cherry or grape tomatoes because who wants to stand around and blanch the peel off of a pound of those. Not me, thank you very much.
When I tasted the finished product immediately after cooking it was a bit lemony. I happen to love lemon, but I was hoping for more tomato flavor. But, based on my experience making Garlic Jelly, I let it sit for a few days to see if the flavors would blend and the lemon would be less pronounced. Sure enough, it was. Still a hint of lemon but also a nice sweet tomato flavor.
If I may make a recommendation: make these preserves, get some good sourdough bread (or make your own) smear it with some Brie and add a little Tomato Preserves. Maybe a nice glass of wine. Then sit back with some nice soft music and just savor the fabulous flavors.
Until next time, happy eating.