So at this point I hope you all are familiar with my ‘cook the book’ project. As I mentioned in this post, I met my SF food blogger friends through a variety of events, one of which was an evening with Michael Natkin to celebrate his new book Herbivoracious. Michael is a vegetarian food blogger turned author and we noshed on a few of his dishes, including his signature Chevre with Sauteed Grapes – so good and so simple, while getting to know him and become familiar with the book. He’s are really nice guy and took the time to chat with each of us, listening to our passions while sharing his for vegetarian cooking. The event was held at Cookhouse, a spectacular kitchen space for rent in North Beach, which I would highly recommend for hosting your next culinary event. I went to the event with Natasha and Claudie and we met Rachel and Aimee there, and before we knew it, we were planning our next get together and the cook the book idea was born.
Having tried some of the his dishes at the event, I couldn’t wait to flip through Michael’s book and decide what to make next. There were so many tempting options, it took me a while and some inspiration from Food Loves Writing, to finally land on tomato jam. My dad grows tomatoes among other things and as summer rolled around it was the perfect match.
This jam was just delightful. Akin to a sweet bruschetta, I’ve been eating it with cheese on bread, on sandwiches, with eggs on toast – there are so many options. The essence of the tomato remains, but it’s sweetened and spiced up a bit with herbs and pepper flakes. I think next time I would definitely use less sugar and add more herbs/pepper flakes, but it was definitely good as is and was a crowd pleaser as an appetizer on Saturday night. I served it on sourdough with cheddar, and I think it would have been really amazing with goat cheese on crackers. The tartness of Chevre with the sweet jam would be amazing.
Of all the ways that I’ve used this jam, I enjoyed this grilled BLT the most. Sharp cheddar and salty bacon balance out the sweetness of the jam and I used fresh spinach instead of lettuce – yum! I basically made grilled cheese then opened it up at the end of cooking and inserted the bacon and greens, but really you could do whatever kind of BLT you like, and I’m sure you will love this ‘tomato’ on your sandwich.
Tomato Jam from Herbivoracious*
- 1 1/2 lbs tomatoes, cored, peeled, diced
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
- pinch red pepper flakes
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a simmer and continue to simmer until reduced, thick and syrupy. Cool and serve at room temperature. Will store in the fridge for about 3 days. You can peel the tomatoes easily by lightly scoring an X in blossom end of the tomato and soaking in boiling water for 10 seconds.
* I omitted the saffron in the original recipe – my budget has to draw the line at $18.00 spices 🙂