I’m going to let you in on a little secret about me.
I don’t like raw tomatoes.
Seriously. Can’t eat ’em. I’ve tried tons of times, but I just can’t get past the texture and the taste.
But cook them up in a sauce, give me a bowl of salsa and chips, add them to a deliciously sweet and sticky jam and I’ll eat that up. Twice.
I first discovered the holiness that is tomato jam at Nordstrom’s Sixth and Pine restaurant. It was nestled delicately into a glass mason jar along with pesto and ricotta… hence the name tomato jam jar. Seriously, horns will play and angels will descend from the high heavens when you taste this recipe. It is that good. I promise you will want to make it for every birthday, holiday, payday and all the other days in between.
Plus, it is a super easy and elegant appetizer that you can impress all your foodie friends with. They will think you slaved over a hot pot and a cutting board all week.
There is no better way to use all of those home-grown tomatoes from your garden that you have right now than to make tomato jam. You can jar it and feast on your crop all winter long (how Home on the Range is that?).
Now don’t get nervous but there are a few moving parts to this recipe. You’ll need to make the jam first, which is the most time consuming part. The rest is cake!
Here is what you’ll need:
Tomato Jam Jar Ingredients:
for the jam
- 1 ½ pounds ripe Roma tomatoes
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- red pepper flakes to taste
- the juice of one lime
for the crostini
- one loaf crusty Italian bread
- 1/2 a stick of butter
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- store bought or homemade basil pesto
Here is what to do, step by step (with pictures!)
STEP ONE: Preheat your oven to 350. Core your tomatoes. I like to use a teaspoon to do this. Another great tip is to take the produce bag your tomatoes came in and insert it into a plastic mixing bowl. Core each tomato over the bag and then just toss when you are done for easy clean up. Genius.
When you have cored each tomato they should look something like this…
STEP TWO: Rough chop your tomatoes and place (or throw… no judgement here) into a pot.
STEP THREE: Add all your other ingredients to the pot and mix. Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally for about an hour or until your tomatoes begin to look glossy and the sauce thickens.
STEP FOUR: Once your tomatoes have taken on a jam-like consistency you need to make sure they are cooled before plating. Take a tray (a baking sheet will do) and line it with parchment paper. Spread your jam in a thin layer and refrigerate until cool.
STEP FIVE: Your guests (or just you— again, no judgement here) will need to spread the ricotta-basil-jam mixture on something equally as delicious, so let’s make some crostini. Cut a loaf of crusty Italian bread into thin slices and place on a baking sheet. This step is optional. Bagged crostini from the bakery or deli at your grocery store would be just a good!
STEP SIX: Melt a half of stick of butter and brush onto your slices of bread.
Bake the bread in a 350 degree over for 12 minutes. It’s done when the edges are browned, like this…
STEP SEVEN: Mix one cup of ricotta cheese with a teaspoon of sugar and “whip” with your spoon until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Now layer your ricotta on the bottom of a glass jar or small glass bowl like this one. Add a layer of basil pesto (you can make your own or you can pick up pre-made pesto from the grocery store. I used this one). Lastly, add a layer of your tomato jam! It should look something like this…
Serve with your crostini and watch your friends go crazy over this insanely delectable combination of flavors. You can also transform this into a sweet treat by replacing the pesto with a layer of almonds and the tomato jam with peach or strawberry jam. If you wanted to try your hand at a homemade fruit-based jam this is a great recipe.
Also, how gorgeous would this look on your holiday table?! It is never too early to start planning!