Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tasty Tomato Jam

February is apparently the month for pizza making. Seemed like every time I checked my reader, someone had posted something about pizza. With a month’s worth of inspiration, I had pizza on the brain, so we made pizzas on Sunday night. And they were good, but I don’t really want to talk about pizzas, per se. Instead I’m going to talk about tomato jam, which is what we used instead of traditional pizza sauce.

I’ve had versions that are overly sweet and didn’t care much for them. In my opinion, the perfect tomato jam is both sweet and sour. I can’t recall ever seeing tomato jam in stores (although I’ve never really looked). Luckily, it’s not difficult to make but does require about an hour's time (mostly passive). But it’s time well spent because this stuff is delicious.

Tomato Jam with Sun-dried Tomatoes
Makes about 2 cups
  • 1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 to 5 tbs sugar, to taste
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 tbs red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ to 1 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 or 4 sprigs thyme (optional)
In a medium pot, sauté the sun-dried tomatoes with the shallot and garlic over medium-low heat until the shallot is soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Sun-dried tomatoes burn pretty easily, so don’t crank up the heat and stir it occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients and bring it up to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the mixture to simmer covered for ½ hour. Remove the lid and turn up the heat a little to get the liquid to evaporate off faster. Cook until the mixture reaches the consistency of jam. Store in a clean, airtight container in the fridge for up to 1week. This is also perfect for canning, if you are experienced with that sort of thing.

I like to use this jam for pizza, on top of poached or over-medium eggs, in turkey or roast beef sandwiches, on crostini with a slice of hard sheep’s milk cheese, on the side served with grilled or roasted meats…the possibilities are endless!


Manggy said...

Ooh, yum :) How intriguing, I've never had this before. I do agree that tomato-ey stuff has to be sweet and sour. (My high school friend, an Illinois native, told me that pizza sauce should always be sour.) Where'd you get the recipe?

Must give it a try sometime :) I wish it could last longer, though.. Also, I hope we can see some of your pizzas soon :)

dp said...

Manggy, for the pizza dough, I actually used your recipe! It turned out well.

As for the jam, it's inspired from this recipe. I decided to add the canned tomatoes to give it more volume, and I nixed the chicken stock and most of the water.

If you know how to preserve by canning, it could last a very long time. I've never tried freezing it, but you might try doing that in smaller batches, say 1/2 cup at a time. For us, it's never lasted that long because we like it so much.

Manggy said...

Oh, I LOVE it when people try my recipes!!! Thanks!!

Oh, I don't think I have the patience for canning as well, with all the sterilizing and flawless transfer and stuff!

Anonymous said...

I love tomato jam. At the restaurant, we make gallons of tomato jam in the Summer. Yum.

Anonymous said...

Great looking recipe! Mark Bittman in the NYT this week actually talks about roasting canned tomatoes:


I wonder how that'd work in your jam recipe.

dp said...

I never thought to roast canned tomatoes, however I do it all the time with the ones I grow. It really concentrates their flavor.

For this type of recipe, any type of canned or fresh tomoato or even all sun-dried tomato will work. People just have to play around with the recipe to get the texture and flavor they want.

dp said...

James, thanks for stopping by! I checked your site to find out which restaurant you were referring. Is it Higgins? I'm always on the lookout for good eats :-)