Tomatoes are the calling card of summer. Plump, red orbs growing heavier on their vines with every passing day, they tease in shades of green and yellow as they slowly ripen. Gradually darkening like rubies glistening in the sun, suddenly, they’re all ready for harvest at once. It’s now or never; grab them by the fistful or regret your mistake for another year. If you don’t take advantage, hungry critters stalking your garden surely will.
That’s how even a modest plot of land can drown a single person in tomatoes. Big or small, standard or heirloom, it’s sheer bliss for the first few days. Then, after a couple rounds of tomato salads, tomato soups, tomato sauces, and tomato juice, tomatoes may begin to lose their shine.
Don’t let it get to that stage. Take your tomatoes while they’re still new and fresh, concentrate them down to a rich, umami-packed tomato jam and you’ll never grow tired. Burning through two whole pounds right off the bat may feel like a sacrifice, but it’s a wise strategy in the long run. There’s going to be plenty more to come to enjoy every which way, without ever reaching your upper limit of enjoyment.
What Does Tomato Jam Taste Like?
A little bit sweet, a little bit savory, I do use sugar in my recipe but not nearly as much as with berry or other fruit jams. It should be just enough to balance and heighten the other inherent flavors. A touch of jalapeño adds a subtly spicy bite, which you could omit or double, depending on your heat-seeking sensibilities.
How To Make Tomato Jam Your Own
- Use half or all tomatillos instead of tomatoes
- Increase the garlic; there’s no such thing as too much
- Instead of jalapeño, use sriracha, smoked paprika, gochujang, or harissa to spice things up
- Swap the apple cider vinegar for balsamic or red wine vinegar
What Can I Use Tomato Jam On?
The only limiting factor is your creativity! A few of my favorite uses include:
- Avocado toast
- Sandwiches or wraps
- Hot pasta or pasta salads
- Swirled into creamy soups
- On a cheeseboard
- As a burger topping
- Used for dipping alongside or on top of hummus
How Long Will Tomato Jam Keep?
While this jam isn’t properly canned and thus not shelf stable, you can preserve the harvest by storing it in your freezer for up to 6 months.
You don’t actually need to grow your own tomatoes to make tomato jam, by the way. Store-bought tomatoes taste just as sweet- And savory.