This recipe, from reliable Mark Bittman, is a treasure. Easy to make and simply delicious, it’s a great recipe to have in your arsenal in the summer, when tomatoes are piling up and you need something new and exciting to do with them. The batch I just made used up a windfall of free tomatoes I got from my CSA because they were cracked. They were almost too ripe, and needed to be used right away.
This glossy, tangy, sweet crimson stuff has fired my imagination. There are obvious uses – atop cream cheese (or goat cheese) on crackers, or in place of ketchup on a burger. Yesterday I ate it smeared atop an open-face grilled cheese sandwich, and I look forward to using it as a finishing sauce for grilled chicken or pork. It is divine with basil ice cream; I’ll talk more about that in my next post.
The recipe is really easy, too. Give it a try!
1.5 lbs ripe red tomatoes
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced or grated ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves (optional)
1 teaspoon salt (or a bit less, to taste)
1/2 to 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced in thin rounds
Halve tomatoes. Squeeze out some of the seeds and juice, pull off the peel if this is easy and you feel like it, and chop coarsely. (Skin and chop more finely if you want a very elegant texture.)
Combine everything in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring once in a while, for an hour to an hour and a half. The jam is done when it is thick and glossy. Taste for seasoning, then cool, put in a lidded container, and store in the refrigerator. Will keep a week or two.