I posted the recipe for Spicy Tomato Chutney on the blog last year, and I had to resurrect it for the roast beef sandwich I made for our Memorial Day picnic earlier this week. This time, I added caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar to the mix, and even some basil leaves to give it some summery freshness. I love tomatoes when it is cooked, and never raw, unless it is hidden in salsas, or guacamole, or…well, anything that makes it not taste like raw tomatoes. If you’re one of those people who enjoy eating grape tomatoes like grapes, or cherry tomatoes like cherries, or buy these beautiful heirloom tomatoes to make caprese salads, I’m envious of you. But if you’re like me, this Tomato and Caramelized Onion Jam is your answer!
This tomato jam benefits from the sweetness of the onions that have been cooked slowly on the stovetop until they soften and the sugars caramelize. I cook it for about fifteen minutes, and then I add in the tomatoes, and let that boil down into a concentrated tomato jam. On my first attempt making it, the mixture was too watery, so I brought it back to a boil again, and let it simmer further. You can make it as thin or thick as you like, just keep in mind that it will thicken up more as it cools. I actually like it really thick so that I can use it as a sandwich spread, and it won’t make the bread soggy.
The tomato jam is sweet, tangy, with a spicy kick from the red chili flakes. Use this as a condiment on sandwiches, burgers, savory biscuits, and hash browns. Do you like ketchup on your hash browns? Some people say it’s a no-no, but I love it on mine!
It also makes a quick snack – spread a little cream cheese (goat cheese and boursin would be great too) on crackers or crostini and top with a bit of tomato jam. It adds pops of bright, zesty flavors to each bite.
So it’s finally Friday! This weekend, I’ll be keeping busy with some errands, friends visiting from out of town, and an engagement party we’re going to. Whatever you’re doing, enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!
- 1 ½ lbs Roma tomatoes, seeded, diced
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, minced
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp red chili flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until onions are caramelized and dark brown in color, about 15 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, basil, sugar, vinegar, and chili flakes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low, uncovered and stirring often, until the tomatoes have dissolved and the liquid has evaporated, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.