Tomato Balsamic Jam
It’s time for another tomato recipe! As you guys know by now I’m a big fan of making spreads and sauces (see sauce/syrups/condiments section of the recipe page, he he). Since we have a good crop of tomatoes this year, I figured it was high time I make a tomato spread! Jam has already been on my mind because I knew I would be making blackberry jam (it’s become a summer tradition). So why not a tomato jam? I liked this idea because it toes the line between sweet and savory and would have all kinds of uses! I added balsamic to the mix for some punch and also onion to add depth to the flavor.
Let’s get to it!
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, like a Dutch oven, over medium heat. Now add the onion and turn the heat to medium-low. You’re not trying to brown the onion, just get them on the way caramelizing.
Once the onions are soft (about ten minutes), pour in the water to loosen any bits on the bottom of the pan.
Now add your tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt, sugar and stir. You can use any tomatoes you like, just make sure they are fresh.
Add the Bay leaves and gently stir. These are going to give the a jam a slightly sweet herby flavor without being overpowering. Whenever I smell bay leaves I think of my dad. He makes an amazing spaghetti sauce and he always uses bay leaves. The joke when I was growing up was that whoever got the bay leaf on their plate had to do the dishes (somehow it always ended up on mine, hmmm).
Stir the mixture and wait for it to start to simmer.
Once it’s simmering, turn the heat down to low and let it cook thirty minutes to an hour. I know that’s quite a range but how long it takes will really depend on how juicy your tomatoes are and how hot your stove runs. The jam is done when it is thick and syrupy. You know, when it looks like jam.
I wanted to use mine for a variety of things so I didn’t thicken it further with the pectin. If you like your jam thick enough to hold its shape, you’ll need to add the pectin now and cook another five minutes.
Store in jars or Tupperware in the fridge. The jam will last up to a month store properly.
So you may be asking, ok I made this jam, but what can I do with it. Here are some tasty ways we’ve used it:
- spread for a cheese plate (because I’m me)
- condiment for burgers, hot dogs, or club sandwiches
- glaze for roasted chicken or pork
- on toast as you would use any other jam
- as a spread on grilled cheese
I’m sure you will come up with your own ways to use this lovely jam!
This recipe makes about three cups.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon pectin (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and add onion and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes, or until onions are soft.
- Pour in the water to loosen any bits on the bottom of the pan and add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt, ,sugar. Stir.
- Add the Bay leaves and gently stir.
- Cook to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and let it cook 30 minutes to an hour.The jam is done when it is thick and syrupy.
- If desired, add the pectin and cook another 5 minutes.
- Store in jars or Tupperware in the fridge for up to 1 month.