Mark Bittman’s Tomato Jam

by Cate on October 1, 2008

Rustic PlatterMy sister, brother-in-law and niece came over for lunch this past weekend, and in an effort to keep things simple (as if!), I went with a rustic theme … make your own BLTs, a summer’s-last-hurrah Panzanella and … Tomato Jam.  Oh my, Tomato Jam.

I mentioned that I made Tomato Jam to my mom the other day, and she responded with, “Your grandmother used to make that.”  So, of course, I think she might want some, yes?  You know, to conjure up childhood memories.  But when I offered her some, that was very soon followed up with … “Um, is it sweet?”  When you say jam, right after the word tomato, it’s sort of a misnomer, you know?  Because, like mom, you automatically think it sweet.  But while it has a bit of sweetness to it, I don’t know if I’d go so far as to classify it as sweet.  I could certainly see why she’d hesitate though. 

The “jam” part is more so relating to the consistency rather than the level of sweetness.  If you can still find decent summer tomatoes in your neck of the woods, this might be worth your time.  It takes mere minutes to assemble the ingredients in a pot, and after that, it purrs away nicely on the stove without any more intervention needed from you.  It’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s a hint of smokiness, it’s just plain good.

Tomato JamThere are countless ways you could use this … I took pieces of sliced baguette and toasted it with drizzles of extra virgin olive oil and rubbed garlic.  Once nice and crispy, I spread a little bit of tomato jam on it and added a thin slice of Cambozola cheese.  So.good.  My mouth is watering now again as I type this.

So go on and celebrate the last dregs of summer … ’cause you’ll soon be wishing you could once the cold winds start blowing.

Hungry for what others have to say about Mark Bittman’s Tomato Jam?
Seven Cooks has been having it with bread and cheese as well.
Brownie Points has been using it on a smattering of sandwich selections.
Mac and Cheese is another Tomato Jam fan.
And Erin’s Kitchen used the jam to usher in the first day of school.

A year ago today … another good go-with-bread recipe.
Two years ago … in the pink.  This year, instead of highlighting Think Pink items here on Sweetnicks, we’ll be doing it over on The Voice of Mom.
Three years ago… all over the place.

Tomato Jam
Recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman

1-1/2 pounds good ripe tomatoes (Roma are best), cored and coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh grated or minced ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 jalapeño or other peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced, or red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan, Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.

2. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, then cool and refrigerate until ready to use; this will keep at least a week.

Yield: About 1 pint.

Cate’s Notes: My jam took considerably longer than the hour and fifteen minutes to reach the jam consistency, but my plum tomatoes might have been more on the juicier side. It also firmed up more after hanging out in the fridge for a bit when done.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

ginevra October 2, 2008 at 11:09 am

I loved making this. The best compliment I could ask for was when I brought a jar as a thank you to my grocery guys (who taught me all about cannning) and they went crazy over it. They suggested cumin lamb, with potatoes, and using the jam as a sauce for the lamb.


Sandy S October 2, 2008 at 11:45 am

Okay, Cate, I’m going to make this today. I’ll probably be the only one in my household who eats it, but I’ve already got a freezer full of sauce, I’ve made ketchup, and I’ve still got about 10 pounds of tomatoes sitting on the sideboard. You’ve hooked me with your description, so now, I’m off to make me some jam!


Patsy October 2, 2008 at 1:14 pm

I’m so happy you shared ways to use tomato jam. I’m always intrigued by these types of recipes, but never know what to do with them once I make them! I’m marking this one so I don’t forget about it!

Patsys last blog post..Cooking Light: Pasta with Prosciutto and Spinach


HeidifromSavoryTv October 3, 2008 at 9:42 pm

It sounds perfect! I love unique and creative jams! And the tomato is a fruit after all :)

HeidifromSavoryTvs last blog post..Gabriele and Debi are smoking hot in this eggplant parmesan video!


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