tomato jam

Hi y’all, and welcome to #TomatoLove!

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange, let me fill you in on the juicy details.

Ali, the author of Gimme Some Oven and Cassie, of Bake Your Day, are hosting a recipe exchange to help raise awareness with IJM (International Justice Mission) about the treatment of off-season tomato workers in the United States.

Did you know that the 90% of our country’s off-season tomatoes are grown in Florida? Neither did I! I thought all they grew down there were oranges. Please forgive me, I have blonde hair. Anyways, IJM formed a partnership with farm workers and tomato growers called the Fair Food Program. This program will make sure each tomato worker is treated with dignity and respect along with guaranteeing a safe work environment. Workers should be able to pick tomatoes without being picked on. Am I right? Right.

So, in order to spread the awareness, bloggers and non-bloggers across the U.S. are participating in one giant Tomato Love Recipe Exchange. Now here we are in week two and it’s all about salsas and dips. I thought about creating some kind of bruschetta dip, but I wanted to go bigger. I wanted more depth, flavor, and versatility.

Enter, the tomato jam.

I realize that the word jam is a little misleading for this week’s tomato theme, but just go with me for a second. I picked up this recipe at a cooking class I attended at a culinary school in Denver called Cook Street. First of all, I didn’t know you could make a reduction from tomatoes (there’s that blonde hair again). Thankfully, my instructor overlooked my appearance and allowed me to stay in the class because once we were done dicing, slicing, and reducing, I tasted my first tomato jam. I was completely smitten.

I kept sticking my finger into the bowl and then licking the jam right off my finger. Normal people were grabbing a cracker or baguette and spreading on the tomato jam. Eh.”You say tomato, I say tomahto.”

Besides the perfect combination of salty and sweet is how versatile it can be. I’ve dipped roasted cauliflower and scallops into it. I’ve eaten it with cheese and crackers. I’ve even topped my eggs with this salsa look alike. Seriously, the choices are endless!

But the fun doesn’t stop here! Make sure and check out the themes for the next couple of weeks. Start looking through your recipe box and let’s keep spreading the #TomatoLove!

Tomato Jam

(adapted from Cook Street)

Yields about 2 cups

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large shallots, minced
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 3/4 cups white wine vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add grape tomatoes, cook until softened. Add vinegar, both sugars, and water. Bring to a simmer and then wait ever so patiently for the sauce to reduce by half. It will get there, I promise. Add salt and pepper to make sure seasoning is correct. Let it cool slightly and serve on anything your heart desires! Great as a spread on crackers or you can pour it over scallops or roasted cauliflower! Delish!