August 23, 2013
We’ve reached that point in the summer where my garden is turning into an overly generous lover; my harvest baskets are bursting with mounds of ripe produce and fruit before I’ve had the chance to savor the last round given.
My ingenuity wavers as I try to work my way through it all. Thankfully, this new book by Kevin West, Saving the Season came into my life at just the right time. It’s filled with all sorts of recipes and tips for canning, pickling and preserving. He sealed the deal with me by using booze in some of his jams in lieu of a normal acid like lemon or lime.
Taking Mr. West’s lead, I grabbed that bulging basket of cherry tomatoes and my beloved gin and got to work creating my own boozy jam creation. Oh my, word (or words). Amazing. Delicious. Divine. When I thought I couldn’t eat another tomato, this had me scraping the bottom of the pan, wanting more.
It’s fantastic spread on sprouted sandwich bread loaded with triple cream and arugula, drizzled over Moroccan-spiced lamb meatballs (recipe for those next week) or taking that end-of-summer burger up a notch. It’s all good – oh no, the gin is making me talk like GP.
Makes 1 cup
1 large shallot, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups or 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup gin
1 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, rough chop (or oregano flowers)
Over medium-high heat add oil and butter to pan until the butter foams. Add the shallots and lower the heat to medium. Next, add the tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes. As the tomatoes start to break down, add brown sugar, gin, salt and red chile flakes. Cook for another 10 minutes pushing down the tomatoes with a wooden spoon to smash. The sauce will begin to thicken. Now add the red wine vinegar and oregano, stirring to incorporate. Continue to cook for another minute or two and then turn off heat.
Store in a clean glass container until ready to serve. If making it in advance, store in fridge until ready to use, just be sure to serve at room temperature. This will keep in the fridge for about a week, but my bet is that you polish it off way before then.