Smoked Rosemary Heirloom Tomato Jam
There are several ways to infuse this delicious savory jam with smoky undertones. If you have a smoker, you can smoke the tomatoes and onions prior to use in the recipe. Alternatively, you could infuse the smoke after the jam has finished cooking. Even if you don’t use any smoke enhancement whatsoever, this tomato rosemary jam is a condiment that can elevate things like a simple hamburger to new heights.
One thing that you cannot replace, is the use of real, fresh, wholesome ingredients. I make this jam when farmers’ market heirloom tomatoes are sweet, plentiful, and inexpensive. Since this recipe has no added sugars, it relies on the caramelization of the onions, and the natural sweetness of the tomatoes to provide a balancing counterpoint to the natural acidity. Store-bought tomatoes, which are often picked under-ripe and then imbued with a false red tan through the use of ethylene oxide, lack the necessary flavor to properly complete this recipe.
Buying the tomatoes in bulk at a farmers’ market and preparing a big batch that can last the rest of the year is a practice in sustainability that we strive for in culinary medicine.
- 325 g sweet onion (approximately one large onion), thinly sliced
- 5 mL olive oil (approximately 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon)
- 25 mL (approximately 2 tablespoons) dark rum
- 2 kg (approximately 5 pounds) heirloom tomatoes, roughly cut
- 5 g (approximately 1-inch knob) fresh ginger, finely diced
- 15 g (approximately one-half) fresh jalapeno pepper, finely diced
- 6 g (approximately 2 sprigs) fresh rosemary, finely chopped and divided
- 3 g (approximately 1 teaspoon) ground cumin
- 3 g (approximately 1 teaspoon) ground coriander
- 1 g (approximately ½ teaspoon) ground cinnamon
- 2 g (approximately ½ teaspoon) ground allspice
- 60 mL (approximately 2 ounces) fresh squeezed lime juice
- 5 g (approximately 1 teaspoon) salt
- 2 g (approximately ½ teaspoon) fresh ground black pepper
If you are infusing smoke flavor prior to making the jam, follow your smoker’s directions to smoke the tomatoes and onion. When ready to make the jam, heat the olive oil in a medium stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, reduce the heat to low and cook stirring occasionally until the onions are caramelized, about 30 to 40 minutes. Add the rum and continue to cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the tomatoes, ginger, jalapeno pepper, one-half of the rosemary, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, and fresh squeezed lime juice. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced and almost all the liquid has evaporated; approximately 2-3 hours. You should have roughly 1 L (~4 cups) of jam (it freezes well).