September is still tomato season here in San Diego and our markets are filled with a wide variety to choose from. My tomato-ginger jam is adapted from a recipe in the current issue of Cooking Light, a tweak to my own tomato jam recipe that I posted last summer.
No way was I going to spend at least $30 on expensive heirlooms called for in the CL recipe. Instead, I used Romas, knowing that the slow stove-top cooking would intensify and deepen their flavor. Here I also have to admit that I have yet to swoon after tasting any heirloom tomato, although they can be very pretty. I will take a local Carlsbad tomato any time over an heirloom.
My version calls for brown sugar – and more of it – and I substituted Meyer lemon zest and juice for half of the salt. Cumin is a favorite match with tomatoes, so I added some in place of garlic. Finally, I increased the fresh ginger and increased the amount of crystallized ginger, omitting jarred, puréed ginger.
Add some jam to your BLT to make it extra special, use as a “side” with pork or chicken dishes. Mix it with ricotta on grilled bread for an appetizer or quick lunch.
LtC TIP: I am babying my arthritic thumbs, sore from our ongoing humidity, so I chose not to seed the tomatoes and used my processor to chop them, as well as the crystallized ginger. The extra liquid made me increase the cooking time, accordingly.
- ¾ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon
- 4 pounds tomatoes, cored and chopped
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
- Combine the sugar, salt, cumin lemon zest and juice in a heavy-bottomed pot. Stir and allow to rest 10 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring more frequently, for 1 hour. Jam should be reduced to 3 cups.
- Cool, then store, covered in fridge for up to 2 months.
I’m with you – the heirloom tomatoes always look pretty, but I’m not sure their flavor justifies the price. I love the kumatos at TJ’s for my salads. I love your idea of this jam on a BLT – or BLTA to make it super Californian 🙂
I buy those kumatos as well – great all year long!
I am crazy for “anything tomato” and this sounds delicious, especially with the addition of cumin and ginger! This time of year, I try and get my fill of dry farmed tomatoes, although if I grew my own, those might be my favorites. Maybe one day… Have a wonderful weekend!!
I have tried growing my own but they always get that San Diego vine rot – you, too, enjoy the (warm) weekend –
I love the sound of tomato jam on a BLT, sounds fabulous! I must admit I agree with you about the Heirlooms- they are very expensive and so far I have not been impressed by their taste! Sounds great Liz!
I have made 2 BLT’s in 2 days with my jam – yum…
Love the jam, you are right it would be great on a BLT. I can almost taste this jam it just sounds incredible. I like heirlooms but it depends on which ones. I love the green zebra’s a lot but I am a big fan of tomatoes almost any kind at all. Great recipe Liz.
I like the green zebras too, Suzanne, but hardly ever see them in our markets – and they are SO expensive. I long for the Jersey and PA tomatoes we ate when I was growing up.
Looks gorgeous Liz! I do not peel or seed my tomatoes when I make mine. I use Romas and sometimes use grape tomatoes. It sells so well for us, delish in a grill cheese sandwich with pickled onions.
I remember that you do not seed or peel yours, Wendy, so I followed the advice of my expert friend!
Tomato jam with ginger sounds very interesting! I love trying new recipes and this is perfect for the last few days of Summer.
I hope you try it, Mary – it comes together so easily and keeps in the fridge for ages –
This looks like a great recipe to use for times when I have too many tomatoes left over after a shopping spree!
It works all year round, Fran, making the most of any tomatoes…
This is so up my alley! I love tomato jams, and love the addition of the ginger in yours. And thanks for the ideas for using it. Really hope your weather cools off soon!
I have been making tomato jam for a few years and am just looking for some new variations, the crystallized ginger sounds amazing. Tomato jam is so good with pork or burgers, At the end of the summer I made a BLT with green fried tomatoes, bacon, lettuce and tomato jam .. a very happy food memory.
Hope you try and enjoy my recipe.