I feel like this is a new trendy thing in the world, do you? Jams or jellies that are sweet but savory and go with savory stuff. I’m talking tomato jam on burgers, bacon jam (?) over pimento cheese, that kind of thing. Is it a southern thing? a soon-to-be-passe thing? I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that it is all of a sudden feeling like summer is ending very quickly. Jay and I were walking to lunch yesterday (there’s a taco place that’s mayyyyybe 10 minutes on foot from our house and it’s become our new Sunday outing) and talking about how the weather feels all of a sudden very different. I say that it feels like summer has broken, kind of like a fever. The humidity goes away, the temperature has dropped 5-10 degrees, and the sun is warm but not so piercing.
It’s also the time of year where produce that was amazing 3 weeks ago is somewhat lackluster, like the sad dry tomato plants in our yard that are trying so hard to still produce fruit but it’s just not great anymore. The red tomatoes we get are still delicious, but they seem to not ripen as quickly, or if they do they’ll rot faster when we bring them inside.
Enter, green tomato jam. I love fried green tomatoes as much as the next southerner, but they’re unhealthy and a pain to make at home. Green tomato jam, on the other hand, is easy, just takes a little bit of patience, and lasts and lasts in the fridge. You can make a double or triple batch and can some, but it lasts so well in the fridge that I prefer small batches here and there throughout the coming weeks and months. I’m seeing lots of green tomatoes at grocery stores and our farmer’s market, so snatch them up and make some jam asap. This version is sweet, sticky, spicy, and slightly savory from a little bit of onion. I’ve enjoyed it most with crackers and stinky or really sharp cheeses, the sweetness pairs perfectly with blue cheese especially.
You’ll need some green tomatoes (mine were a little pink by the time I got around to making this, but still very under ripe), a little bit of onion, vinegar, water, sugar, celery salt, and crushed red pepper.
Start by chopping the onion and tomatoes into large chunks, then pulsing them in a food processor until they’re finely chopped. You can leave a few larger pieces if you’d like, but I kept everything pretty small.
When the veggies are chopped, add them to a skillet with all the rest of the ingredients over medium heat. Let the mixture come to a bubble, then adjust the heat as necessary to achieve somewhere between a full boil and a simmer. The tomatoes will cook down and the liquid will evaporate, so the key is to let the jam cook down slowly to not burn the sugar on the bottom of the skillet.
Now, we let the jam work. Let it cook uncovered for 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on your stove and tomatoes. Stir the mixture every 10 minutes or so. This was 1 hour after I started the jam. It’s gotten dark in color but still is fairly runny.
And this was 40 minutes after THAT. The liquid has almost cooked all the way down and the sugar thickened the veggies to a smooth, soft consistency.
Now, how you serve this is totally up to you. I ate some right away with crackers and pimento cheese, and DANG warm tomato jam over cold cheese is so delicious.
I’ve also eaten this with super sharp cheeses, which I love. I think this would be great on a burger, grilled cheese, or even over super spicy blackened chicken. The sweetness from the jam cuts through spicy and sharp flavors in just the best way.
Keep this in a jar in the fridge for snacking occasions. It’s such a fun addition to a cheese plate and so simple to make.
- 3 large green tomatoes
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoons celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Cut the onion and tomatoes into large chunks and place them in a food processor. Puree to finely chop, leaving only a few large pieces.
To a skillet, add the tomato puree to the rest of the ingredients. Turn the heat to medium and let the mixture come to a simmer, stirring every few minutes.
Adjust the heat on the stove up or down so the mixture bubbles but isn't completely boiling. Stir every 10 minutes or so, and let the jam cook for 90 minutes to 2 hours, until the mixture is reduced with almost no liquid left in the pan and the tomatoes are dark golden in color.
Let the jam cool slightly before transferring it to a container. Serve with bread, crackers, cheese, or any way you'd like. Enjoy!