Sunday, October 9, 2011

Green Tomato Jam

Green Tomatoes

Hello, long lost friends!  I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long.  And I’ve got to say, I’m really happy to be back now.  I have a million and one excuses for being AWOL for so long, but I think it just boils down to the fact that in certain circumstances (such as this one), I’m an all or nothing kind of girl.  For those million and one reasons, I couldn’t give this blog my fullest attention over the summer, and so it kinda got left behind.  But I’m back now, hopefully for the long haul.  And while I’ve got a few more plates in my life spinning right now, I’m going to try to stay as consistent as possible with these blog updates from here on out.  While my fullest attention is still not quite doable, I’ll look at this as an exercise in moderation, which will be good for me I think!  Thanks for your patience over the summer!  I’m so glad to be in touch with you all again. 

Not quite ripe

Green beauties

Today I want to share with you a neat recipe – Green Tomato Jam.  Kinda out there, right?  A little weird, but in a good way.  I admit, this is not the most traditional of recipes, but it’s definitely super delicious.  Sticky and sweet, with a familiar tomatoey tang, but also an enticingly mysterious twist.   And it’s so beautiful, like a shining jarful of glittering green gems. 

Green tomato still life

For those of you with backyard vegetable gardens, this is a great way this time of year to use up all that hard green fruit hanging from your tomato vines.  You know how come late September, tomatoes never seem to sweeten up the same way their summer cousins do.  And no matter how pretty and red they eventually get, they’re always still a little mealy.  Well, this recipe makes the most of this fall-time flaw. It really highlights the goodness of these green guys.  And it even makes me look forward to the true end of tomato season. 

Diced green tomatoes

When I ransacked my parents’ garden last week, bringing back to Chicago a big paper bag of un-ripe tomatoes, by Dad was intrigued by the green tomato jam idea.  And his first question, of course, was:  “But how are you going to use it?”.  Ah, good question, Dad…

Pretty colors

This sugary, savory jam is no wallflower.  It’s comfortable and charismatic in all sorts of situations.  To name a few… with a creamy goat cheese and salty crackers, as a sweet relish alongside pork chops, dolloped atop crispy potato pancakes, even spread inside a gooey grilled cheese sandwich.  And it’s so pretty and tasty, you’ll be tempted to just eat it by the spoonful, all by itself.  Go ahead.  I always do!


I hope this recipe isn’t too out-there for all of you!  And I hope you’ve got a few green tomatoes at your disposal, to try it out.  I’m thinking there’s still a few weeks left in this underappreciated green tomato season.  Here’s to us making the most of it!

Green Tomato Jam

Green Tomato Jam
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
This is an easy and not too time-consuming recipe, but requires a 24 hour rest in-between  steps.  I’m not sure why exactly, this day’s wait is necessary, but I’ve tried it out, ignoring the wait, and don’t get quite the same sugary, jammy consistency. 
Also, along with the totally un-ripe green tomatoes, I like to throw in a few slightly ripened, pinkish-orange tomatoes too, for a nice color contrast. 
Green Tomato Jam 
2 pounds green (un-ripe) tomatoes
3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Rinse tomatoes in cold water.  Drain and dry.  Slice tomatoes into quarters.  Remove the seeds, core and inner membranes, and discard.  (Leave the skin on.)  Slice the tomatoes into about 2 cm pieces.
In a bowl, stir to combine the diced tomatoes with the sugar and lemon juice.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours.
Diced tomatoes, with sugar & lemon juice
Bring the tomato mixture to a boil in a medium sauce pot, then reduce the heat to low, and keep at a low simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat, and allow to cool to room temperature.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, bring the mixture to a boil again.  Reduce heat to low and continue cooking at a low simmer for 15 minutes, again stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Allow to cool to room temperature. 
Can be stored refrigerated, for up  to two weeks.  To keep for longer, follow a basic canning procedure and keep in sterile jars. 

Green tomato collection


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