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Ripe and Ready: In a Tomato Jam?

Try these tomato recipes: pasta sauce and tomato jam!



If you’re choking on your bounty, fear not. Overripe tomatoes can be transformed into a bright pasta sauce or lovely tomato jam, the ideal condiment for BBQ burgers or grilled chicken.

For a fresh, two-step tomato sauce, Peter Chastain of Prima in Walnut Creek slowly cooks or “melts” three cloves of thinly sliced garlic in a half cup virgin olive oil before adding three quarts of coarsely chopped overripe tomatoes—everything but the stem. He simmers it down for 20 minutes, or as much as an hour, until the liquid is gone. (When storing, keep it thin; you can always thicken the sauce later.) Season with salt, ground pepper, and sliced basil. You can puree the sauce, run it through a food mill, or go simple and rustic: Use as is.

For tomato jam, slowly sauté a minced red onion with salt until completely soft, and then add a quart of roughly chopped ripe tomatoes, three juniper berries, one allspice berry, one bay leaf, one clove, a half-cup red wine vinegar, and a half-cup sugar. Reduce, stirring as it begins to thicken, until almost sticky. (This could take some time.) Taste and balance with more sugar or vinegar, if necessary.


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