Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tomato Jam + Cheese Plate | Friday Night Bites

It’s almost Friday Night – my favorite day of the week.  It is time to say goodbye to the work week and kick off the weekend along with enjoying our weekly tradition of Friday Night Bites.  One of our favorite appetizers is the effortless cheese plate.

About every other week on the way home from visiting one of my four offices, I will zoom into the Whole Foods parking lot.  I guess I should call it “whole paycheck”, since I don’t often get out for less than one hundred dollars and that is just the hand basket.  I tend to hit the produce section then jet across the store to the cheese section.  After the cheeses, it is onto the prepared food section, the olive bar, the specialty crackers and a few other aisles that catch my attention.  About 15 minutes later, the cashier reveals the total and it is 9 times out of 10 over one hundred dollars.

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I rationalize with myself that I don’t shop here daily but only a couple times a month.  It is a treat for me and hubby of course.  Being a true foodie, this is rational, right? Smile. Wink.

After we came back from Chicago, I shared that I was inspired by many things we enjoyed there.  One was the imported cheese plate at RPM Italian.  We chose the Pecorino Sardo which was accompanied by a green tomato jam and some fresh bread.  It was the perfect ending to a delectable dinner.  The pecorino was aged beautifully which took away the “gamy” taste and paired perfectly with the jam.

On my trip to Whole Foods, I found a similar pecorino which quickly went into my basket along with a few other delightful cheeses including aged Cheddar with hints of coffee grounds.  I picked up a few heirloom tomatoes to create my tomato jam.  I played around with quantities and flavor profiles until I came up with the end product which was simply perfect.

This jam takes a bit of patience, since it takes time to reduce down to a jam consistency.  Trust me, it is worth the wait.  Feel free to double or triple the ingredients to make a larger batch.  This one yielded about a little over a half a cup.  You can use it for your next cheese plate or lather onto a grilled cheese sandwich.  Happy Friday Night Bites!

Tomato Jam

Yields approximately 1/2 Cup

1 pound Heirloom Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes
½ Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Zest of one lemon
½ teaspoon Cumin

Remove the part of the tomato where it secured to the vine.  Leave the skin on and cut into small dices. If using cherry tomatoes, simply cut into fours.  Add to a medium pan.  Next add the sugar, lemon juice and zest along with the cumin.  Stir and cook over medium high heat until lightly boiling.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes until it is a thick consistency.  Let cool and store in an air tight jar.  You can add more cumin if you desire.


  1. I actually prefer recipes that take a while to prepare - they're much more rewarding. This tomato jam is stunning!

    I'm intrigued by the cheddar with hints of coffee grounds!

  2. I love Whole Foods and have to restrain myself as well - it truly is foodie paradise! Your tomato jam looks so tasty, perfect with a cheese plate!

  3. I still haven't made the jam yet that you made last year and it's time I get busy and try it out. What simple yet delightful appetizer idea, thanks for sharing Lisa.

  4. I can't even imagine what this tastes like. Sounds interesting! :)

    I've never actually shopped at Whole Foods. It sounds terribly expensive. Yikes.

  5. Love the idea of the cumin, how wonderful that must be with the jam (and the cheese!). Hope you had a wonderful weekend, Lisa, xo.

  6. Hey, I am from Germany and found this recipe on pinterest. As I want to make the jam as a christmas present for my grandparents, I am wondering how long it will be okay if stored in the fridge? About one week or longer, more like normal fruit jam?

    1. Thank you for stopping by! You should be able to store just like fruit jam. A week or more should be fine with a airtight container. Happy Holidays!

  7. I've had that happen to me so many times! I'll lose a recipe and then much later find it. It's like finding $5 in your pocket that you'd forgotten about. Looks delicious!
    Thank you for useful advices!


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