summer tomato jam – back on the line…

by Michelle

While happily retired, the most perfect job in the world found me. I am the Italian Food Artist – a title created for me because I am not a chef – for Italian by Night. I lead a small team of passionate cooks who totally get my concept of ‘loving what you cook’ for a tiny Italian trattoria in eastern Canada. Owner, Liz Rowe, approached me several years ago to do some consulting for her and well… you have to know Liz!

Part of our agreement involved me being able to leave the restaurant to spend the summer at my farm. Liz understands and respects my need to be in the country growing flowers and vegetables, cooking, blogging and being with my family and friends undistracted. She gives me the summer and I give her the rest of the year.

In three weeks, I’m back on the line…

 My tomatoes are still coming fast and furious. I don’t like our Canadian tomatoes for sauces. They are too watery and have to be cooked past recognition before you find the right consistency. However, they are wonderful for jam. Not jam like raspberry jam but more of a savory sweet jammy topping for crostini , panini or dabbed on top of a pizza with a little chevre! Wherever you might use a bit of fresh tomato, this tangy tomato preserve is perfect! Local tomatoes are cheap right now so pick up a few pounds and give it a try.

Summer Tomato Jam

makes 5 small jars

3 lbs assorted tomatoes, stem end removed – evenly chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, minced

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup best quality balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Add garlic and shallot, saute for 2 minutes stirring constantly

Add the tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, basil salt and pepper

Mix well and bring to a boil

Reduce heat and cook until mixture is ‘jammy’. It will take up to 1 hour – stir often

Place in clean jars, allow to cool then store in refrigerator.

Will keep for 2 weeks.

Thanks for reading.