The upside of seasonal eating has gotten enough play. Today we turn to its darker side. To the part of eating seasonally where summer ends and I am supposed to set aside perfect peaches for pumpkin soup and root vegetables. What kind of solace is that, I ask?
In the coming weeks I’ll settle in, I know, remembering the unexpected heights that Brussels sprouts can reach and that miso-roasted squash and kale salad. I’ll even delight in planning our vegetarian Thanksgiving menu. Eventually.
But for today, let’s talk about holding onto those peaches for as long as we can.
This recipe is the love child of this sweet tomato jam and this savory peach jam. It was inspired by a tomato and peach salad we ate all summer and a tomato and peach gazpacho served in the cafe of my favorite bookstore. And like all my good jam ideas, I later learned that Marisa had it first.
This jam is equal parts peaches and tomatoes by weight, but the result is more sweet than savory; the umami notes of tomato and balsamic add just a whisper of intrigue. As you’d expect, it’s most at home alongside a soft cheese or spooned over a piece of salmon, but it’s no slouch in a sandwich or vinaigrette either.
Tomato Peach Balsamic Jam: Prepare 2.5 lbs peaches by peeling, chopping and mashing them (to yield about 4 c. mashed peaches). Prepare 2.5 lbs. tomatoes by chopping them finely (to yield about 5 c. chopped tomatoes; do not seed or peel the tomatoes).
In a large pot with a heavy bottom, combine the tomatoes and peaches with 3 c. sugar, 1/2 c. bottled lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil and continue to cook at a low boil, stirring often and mashing any big chunks of peach against the side of the pot as they bubble up. Cook until the mixture thickens and reduces by about a third (it will continue to thicken as it cools). This might take up to an hour. Fill sterilized jars and process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.
Disclosure: I made this jam using peaches sent to me by the Washington State Fruit Commission. For more canning recipes and preserving inspiration, visit them at sweetpreservation.com.
Love This Idea!
Intriguing. Sadly, we are over a month past peach season here, and the tomatoes are winding down. I’ll file this away for next year, though!
This looks amazing… I have a lot of basil and I would love to use it soon!
Tomatoes and peaches … sounds intriguing and looks lovely!
I love it! But then, what’s not to love about peaches and tomatoes and basil?
All of the above. And, you don’t have to peel the tomatoes! I’m in.
Hooray! Peaches are just coming into season here. Shall really enjoy making this :) Big hugs and love to you xx
Wow. This sounds spectacular. I wish peaches weren’t already past their prime around here. I even bought a few recently, because I was so tempted, but they’re just not the same… I will plan to try out this genius combination of flavors next summer!
Yum, fantastic recipe!!! ;-)
This is a great summer recipe. Peaches, balsamic and tomatoes go well together in a salad – why not in a jam? Great idea! – Shanna
Just made this in celebration of the fall “turn” and substituted 3 jalapenos finely diced and a handful of freshly picked wild blackberries for the balsamic. Fall with a bit of summer heat under the cool sweet autumn color jam…nice!
this sounds delicious, but I,m curious as to why you specify bottled lemon juice. I’ve never used bottled juice, as I live in New Zealand, and have lemon trees that fruit all year round. Just coming into summer here in NZ, so the ripe peaches are just starting to arrive. Cheers, karen
Hi Karen! You are so lucky to have lemons year-round, do you live in the north? I love New Zealand. :) The recommendation to use bottled lemon juice is just to control the acidity to be extra-sure the jam is safe for canning. The USDA is quite conservative about these matters, however, and not everyone agrees that using bottled lemon juice is necessary (http://www.punkdomestics.com/content/bottled-lemon-juice-necessary). I most often use fresh lemons myself. :) Enjoy!