Week 9: A Riff On Tomato Jam

I’m back to the #52WeeksofVivianH project. It’s been a bit of a wild year, so I’ve been on a little writing hiatus. Recently, my sweet friend, Reese from Compost and Cava had the opportunity to meet Chef Vivian and kindly got me a signed Deep Run Roots book (it’s safely on the bookshelf and not the cooking copy)- see it on Instagram. I’m so thankful to have such thoughtful, interesting, and supportive friends- thank you, Reese!

We are so grateful to have so many working farms so close to where we live. It takes ‘knowing your farmer’ and ‘farm to table’ to a whole new level when you can buy food from the people producing it as a part of our regular shopping. Our favorite farms are Ambrose Family Farm and Boone Hall Farm.  We get a lot of food from Boone Hall and on Friday, I was in the area, so I picked up The Mister a lunch which ended up being the inspiration for his lunches this week: Smoked turkey and brie with tomato jam & arugula.

I knew that Boone Hall makes house-smoked turkey and most of the rest of the ingredients were easy for us to find, the lone exception being a really tasty tomato jam. I was happy to see that Deep Run Roots has a recipe for this delicious condiment. I typically follow Chef Vivian’s recipes (mostly) to the letter but this one invited changes. So, using her language, I decided to make a riff on her recipe (page 75). My adjusted recipe is:

Tomato Jam
3 large (really large) fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, blanched then
quartered or otherwise broken up
.50 tsp plain salt
.25 Bulls Bay smoked salt
.25 cup sugar
3 sage leaves
2 parsley sprigs
.125 tsp Crushed red pepper

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan. Cook down the tomatoes for about 25 minutes on medium, then when they get sort of saucy, turn down to low and stir every 5 minutes (don’t let them burn). Put in a sealed glass jar and refrigerate.

I started out by blanching the tomatoes, and then I slipped the peels off. Once that was done, I dropped them into a medium saucepan and broke them up (I used a knife but you could definitely use your hands). I measured out and added the remaining ingredients to the pan with the tomatoes and cooked it on medium for about 25 minutes, then reduced to low for another 15.  That’s mostly it. Cook the tomatoes down until they look like jam (whatever consistency seems attractive to you). Then, put in a sealed glass jar (I love Weck jars) and refrigerate. The next time I make this, I would definitely use more tomatoes- they cooked down a lot and yet it’s very tasty, so I’m calling it a win.

We’ll use this within a week for the Mister’s lunch sandwiches. Look for another post this week outlining the sandwich construction.

Do you like tomato jam? What flavor alterations have you tried?

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