Make the taste of summer last a little longer

Tomato jam is a condiment that captures the taste of summer. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)
Recipe: This tomato jam is a versatile relish, on or off the sandwich
By Debbie Arrington

Looking for a way to make summer last a little longer?

This recipe won’t add days to August, but it will extend the flavors of summer into fall and winter meals.

This relish is sweet, a little hot and very tomato. Served alongside chops or atop a burger, it will bring back memories of summer long after the last fresh tomato is picked.

Jamie Sandberg, my sister, has been making this tomato jam as an all-purpose relish for several years. The original recipe came from Charles and Rachel Kelsey, who own Cutty’s Sandwiches in Brookline, Mass. It is no ordinary sandwich shop. The Kelseys, both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, met while working at America’s Test Kitchen. Their shop has been featured on the Food Network.

Cutty’s uses its tomato jam to give BLT’s a little more tomato depth before the best tomatoes of summer arrive, or after they’re gone. Delicious on a wide range of sandwiches, this relish also makes a tasty glaze for pork or chicken.

Tomato jam

Makes about 1 ½ cups


1 ½ pounds meaty tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy, optional
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


Combine all the ingredients in a medium, heavy-bottom, non-reactive saucepan, preferably nonstick. Over medium-high heat, cook until bubbling. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick and syrupy, about 1 hour. (As it nears proper thickness, watch carefully and stir often to prevent scorching.) Remove from heat and cool the jam to room temperature.

Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. This jam also freezes well.

Adapted from Cutty’s


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