Super food jam with Tomatoes
San Francisco autumn tomatoes are the best! We are so lucky to live in San Franicisco and have a LONG run of the tomato season.
The trick to this jam is the tender touch in smoking the tomatoes. If you are lucky enough to own a lemon tree that you need to prune, always save the branches and leaves. These are the most important part of this recipe other than organic juicy dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes from Tomatero Farms.
Drying the lemon branches and leaves prior to smoking will infuse the a light smoky-citrus flavor. If you do not have a lemon tree, hickory or maple chips for smoking will do just fine.
Smoking vegetables requires a lighter touch than smoking meats. Unlike smoked pork or beef, vegetables do not need much time on the grill to achieve the optimum light smoky flavor desired for a beautiful tender tomato.
Offering ingredients the ultimate respect will always yield the best tasting product. Treating food with tender care as you would your loved ones will always benefit your palette and your soul while you are devouring this yummy jam.
Today, we served this jam with on a seasonal open-faced sandwich at my daughter’s amazing school, Dianne Feinstein Elementary School. Today’s WALKATHON was a particularly fun day working with volunteers and getting to see the kids have a family event that focused on fitness and healthy lifestyles.
I was asked so many times today about this recipe, I am including it in a blog post here. The best products are made in small batches. So take your time and make a few batches of this to store in your fridge or to seal up in jam jars.
- A smoker box is a lovely addition to your grilling repertoire. You’ll need one of those for this recipe.
- Reducing the liquid in the tomatoes is the key to concentrating and amplifying the “tomato” flavor. Take care in this process not to burn the tomatoes — remember to be slow in this process.
Smoked Tomato Jam
* 4 each dried lemon branches with leaves
6 pounds Early Girl tomatoes
3 pounds Cherry tomatoes
6 oz evaporated can sugar
1.5 tsp sea salt, plus extra for prepping tomatoes for smoking
2 Tbs rice vinegar
2 Tbs olive oil, plus extra for prepping tomatoes for smoking
3 heads roasted garlic
- Soak lemon leaves and branches in water for one hour.
- Wash and dry tomatoes. Slice each in half, place cut-side down onto a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.
- Remove lemon leaves and branches from water and place in smoker box. Put into grill while preheating to a low heat - 300 degrees F.
- When grill is hot and smoke is emanating from the box, place the prepared pan of tomatoes onto the grill. Close the cover and smoke for 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the grill and away from the smoker box. Smell the tomatoes to check for desired smoky aroma. Taste test the tomato to see if you have achieved the desired smoky flavor.
- You may smoke the tomatoes up to 1 hour, depending upon the level of smokiness that you like. A half hour does it for me.
- After smoking the tomatoes, please continue to cook your tomatoes in a non-reactive pan slow cooking pan.
- Cook on a very low simmer for one hour. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for another 30 minutes or until the tomatoes appear to be a viscous sauce (or jam) with no watery liquid.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Depending upon your taste —add more sea salt, sugar, and vinegar.
- When you have achieved desired reduced flavor, pour into a food processor. Gently pulse to create a medium-bodied jam.
- Jar and seal in jamming jars according to manufacturer’s directions. These weck jars are chic!
- Making tomato jam with the very best tasting tomatoes is the only way to go. The early autumn variety — the Early Girl Dry Farmed tomatoes have a concentrated flavor when raw that is very unlike a hot house tomato we can purchase any day of the year in the markets.
- Eat the seeds! You may discard the seeds and skin in this recipe, but I like the extra fiber and the skin contains much of the desired lycopene that we all need and love in tomatoes.