I first had tomato jam at FIVE restaurant in Berkeley this summer. It was served in a dollop on top of goat cheese orzo “mac and cheese” with morel mushrooms. It added a sweet flavor that balanced perfectly with the cheese. Because I was inspired during the summer, I was able to make the jam with great seasonal tomatoes from my parents' garden. The second time I had tomato jam was recently at Umbuntu in Napa. It was served as a jelly doughnut along with burrata cheese. Again, it was so delicious I had to make it again. Unfortunately, tomatoes are no longer in season so I used canned tomatoes this time.
Tomatoes contain large amounts of vitamin C and provide good amounts of vitamin A, potassium and iron. They are well known for containing lycopene, a compound which acts as an antioxidant. Studies have shown that lycopene reduces the risk of developing most cancers, such as prostate, stomach, lung, breast and endometrial cancer. Lycopene is also great for healthy eyes and improving cardiovascular health. Please note that tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family (which includes potatoes and peppers) and may cause aches and pains in some people.
- 1 lb tomatoes, roughly cut
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely minced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat. Keep at a simmer for about an hour, occasionally stirring gently, until the mixture thickens to a jam-like consistency. Put tomato jam into sterilized jars (you can find instructions for sterilizing jars at this post). This jam will store in the fridge for a couple weeks.
Here I had the jam on gluten-free sandwich bread from Mariposa Bakery and topped it with Tickler cheddar. Let me know how you think you will enjoy it!