I HAVE MY CAMERA CORD. And this is the very first thing I want to share with you. I'm sorry it took so long, but hurry up and make this before summer's bounty is up and gone! This is tomato jam.
When I made this several weeks ago, I was feeling unique, pretty adventurous. When I told friends and family about tomato jam, a quizzical look would sweep across their faces. Was I as skeptical as all the rest when I saw this recipe for the first time? Yes. But I knew that Mark Bittman would never lead me too far astray and I was particularly intrigued when he said the taste nodded to sundried tomatoes. Because, seriously, I am very obsessed with sundried tomatoes. But since then it seems to have circulated the blog-o-sphere, making me feel quite unoriginal. Nonetheless, this is a recipe that needs to be shared, replicated, and eaten over and over with copious amounts of baguette slices. Mmm...
I used up just about every possibility for the wealth of tomatoes that spilled from my mom's garden this summer. We made bruscetta, we put them on sandwiches, we tossed them in salads, we made them into pasta sauce, we gave them away to neighbors, friends, practically even to strangers, but these tomatoes weren't going to give up so easily. When I saw this recipe, I thought maybe, just maybe, we could finally conquer the little red fruits that had taken over our backyard.
Like I mentioned, this tomato jam recipe comes from Mark Bittman of the New York Times. The spicing in this jam is lovely and quite unexpected. With fresh ginger and jalapenos, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, I had to double check the recipe as I made trips to the spice cabinet because I just couldn't imagine all of these things going together. Not to mention the entire cup of sugar that's added to this jam (sugar and tomatoes?). It seems strange, right? I promise you, it all comes together beautifully in the end, making for a surprisingly sweet and spicy topping for bread, meat, fish, or just about anything you can imagine. My dad and I both agreed that this would be a permanent addition to our summer repertoire, and that if you canned it, it would make for fantastic gifts. It's akin to a very grown up version of ketchup and it's just as addicting (we planned on topping some steaks with it but barely had enough after we'd scooped it up with bread all evening). Give this a try, you will not be disappointed.