July 26, 2011

Taciturn Tuesdays: Tomato Balsamic Jam

One of the most glorious parts of living on the Crystal Coast is the abundance of farm stands presiding over Highway 24 like little beacons of hope amidst the muck of fast food chains and the auto body shops. To my delight, my last visit to the farmstand nearest our house confirmed that Tomato Season has officially begun in eastern North Carolina.

Grape tomatoes for $1.50/lb? Don't mind if I do. And by do, I mean fill a plastic shopping bag with as many tomatoes as I can grab without upsetting the other customers.

But what to do with the little bursts of sunshine after we've exhausted our cravings for fresh tomato salads and roasted tomatoes and there's still...a lot of tomatoes left? Jam. Delicious, delicious jam. Jam on sandwiches, on crêpes, and even stirred into rice and quinoa.

Begin by sautéing two cloves of garlic in about two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, and then add your grape tomatoes (I used about 1 lb.).

Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in about two tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar, and let the mixture simmer for, like, ever. Or about an hour. Stir the tomatoes occasionally, and mash them with a potato masher if any tomatoes are trying to resist their fate. Which is bursting. Or, as I like to call it, conforming.

Once the mixture has reduced to a paste-like consistency, taste and season with salt and pepper.

Store in a cute little jar. Or, y'know, any container. Serve with/on anything you want. Especially buttered toast, or stirred into scrambled eggs.

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