Friday, December 25, 2009

Sun-dried Tomato Jam

I saw this recipe on a blog I linked to from a cooking forum I like to frequent. It's perfect for a light lunch or to take as an appetizer to a party. I made it for my mother-in-law over American Thanksgiving, and she really loved it. I tend to love sour, tart flavours (like sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, etc.) but my husband doesn't. The great thing about this jam is you can mellow out the tartness of it by pairing it with cheese. We used goat cheese because that's what the recipe recommended but I'm sure it'd taste great with mozzarella or other cheeses as well.

Just a note: I'm not sure about adding a whole cup of water to this jam. It took a really long time to cook down (not 5-10 like the recipe says), maybe about an hour! Even though I cooked it for much longer than instructed, I still ended up scooping out a lot of liquid and oil. I guess the tomatoes (packed in oil) release a lot of the oil as they cook.

When I made this for my in-laws, the enjoyed it with lovely baguette slices. I had it with tortilla chips and it went really well with them. I've also had them with gluten-free crackers and they went well with those, too.

I think this recipe will become a part appetizer staple... if I can figure out that too-much-liquid/oil issue.

Sun-Dried Tomato Jam
Source: Everyday Italian

8oz jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped, 1 tbsp of oil reserved
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper Crostini:
1 baguette, cut into 3/4-inch slices
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves


For the Sun-dried Tomato Jam: Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of the reserved sun-dried tomato oil, onion, and garlic. Stir and cook until the onions are soft and beginning to brown at the edges, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the sugar, vinegar, water, chicken broth, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and continue simmering until most of the liquid is reduced and the mixture is the consistency of jam, about 5 to 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

For the Crostini: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the baguette slices on the baking sheet. Drizzle the bread slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until lightly toasted, about 12 minutes. Place the soft goat cheese in a small bowl. Stir in the thyme.
To assemble: Spread the crostini with Sun-Dried Tomato Jam and top with the goat cheese mixture. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

Yields: ~ 24 servings

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