From the White Lotus Kitchen

Tennessee Tomato-Ginger Jam


Summer and tomatoes are synonymous. It's a riot of reds and yellows, greens, purples, multi-colored stripes, large and small, perfectly round and amorphous shapes cascading off vines with fuzzy leaves that smell so delicate and so distinctively--tomato. I am waiting patiently at White Lotus for my vines to pop, but I just returned from Tennessee where the fruits are in full regalia. While there, I came across this tempting tomato-ginger jam recipe.

Rich in vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, tomatoes are international ambassadors when it comes to deliciousness. Fried green is a classic Southern temptation. Of course, what wouldn't be good that is batter dipped and lightly fried! Sliced or wedged and paired with fresh basil and a twenty-five year aged balsamic, tomatoes will take you straight to Southern Italy. And then, there's always just the basics, eaten with little salt or right off the vine, warm with the summer sun. The possibilities are endless.  

In this recipe, we head to India with a bit of curry powder or my preferred version using garam masala.  You can use fresh or canned tomatoes but with summer making these beauties so available, I vote for fresh. Ganga and I purchased luscious heirloom tomatoes several times while in Tennessee which were brought to town by the bushel load from the nearby Amish farming community. They were as righteous as they were famed to be.  

Savor the remains of your summer with this spicy jam recipe. You can use it as a complement to anything your imagination desires. Here's to the bounty of life!

(makes approx. 1 1/4 cups)

1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in puree (8 large homegrown tomatoes cooked down)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
2 Tbs. very finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. curry powder or gram masala
1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper


Stir together all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Reduce heat to low; simmer stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Cool 20 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container; cover and chill up to two weeks. Use liberally.