3 Savory, Small-Batch Veggie Jam Recipes

Transform your garden's harvest into savory-sweet condiments.

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Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Who says jams have to be fruity? I love whipping up small-batch, savory spreads out of my garden harvest each year that taste great on grilled food, sandwiches and as a condiment served on the side of a cheese tray. The key to making a quick jam is to use a large frying pan — the wider surface area will help the jam achieve the perfect viscosity in a short amount of time. Also, keeping the batches small takes the stress (and heat) out of making preserves and allows you to experiment with more flavors.

Smoky Tomato Jam

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

This is my all-time favorite jam made with my favorite tomato, Sungold. Any tomato will work for this recipe, but cherry tomatoes offer a sweeter taste that works well with the smokiness and tang of the vinegar. Smoky tomato jam is a flavorful substitute for ketchup or in any place you'd use a fresh tomato.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 -1/2 pints (about 32 ounces) cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • a dash of black pepper
  • a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, stripped from stem and chopped
  • large frying pan
  • pint-size glass jar, sterilized

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme. Saute until softened, not browned (Image 1). Add the chili powder and smoked paprika. Mix to combine. Saute for about 30 seconds until the spices are fragrant (Image 2). Add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and let simmer. The tomatoes will start to split and pop. Use the back of a wooden spoon to smash the tomatoes (Image 3). Stir the mixture often. If it starts to look a bit dry, add a tablespoon of water and reduce heat. The jam should reduce and thicken in about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool. This type of jam will not have jelly-like consistency due to the lack of pectin. Instead, it should have a similar consistency to ketchup once cooled (Image 4). Store in a clean, airtight container and use within two weeks. Serve on top of sandwiches or in place of tomatoes or ketchup (Image 5).

Rosemary Onion Jam

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

An onion's natural sweetness makes this jam a special treat. It tastes great on burgers or as a spread for grilled meat. The rosemary adds a dash of earthiness and helps round out the sweetness of the onion.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, stripped from stem and chopped
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • large, wide frying pan
  • pint-size glass jar, sterilized
  • *you can use any type of onion

Head diced onions and a teaspoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the onions have softened (not browned), add in the brown sugar and stir. Cook uncovered until the onions start to brown and caramelize (about 40-60 minutes). Be sure to stir often to prevent burning (Image 1). Turn up the heat and stir in the wine, vinegar, rosemary, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil for a couple of minutes, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 45 minutes until the liquid has reduced to about half and thickened up (Image 2). Once the jam is thick (with very little liquid), turn off the burner and let it cool (Image 3). Once cooled, scoop into a sanitized airtight jar and store in the refrigerator. Use within two weeks. Serve on top of burgers or any type of grilled meats (Image 4).

Red Pepper Jam

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Hot and sweet go together like peas and carrots — or in the case of this mouthwatering recipe, red bell peppers and habanero. Alternatively, you can use green bell peppers and jalapenos or serrano peppers, but I personally love the jewel tone orange/red of the original recipe. This jam's sweet, fruity heat pairs perfectly with crackers and cheese for a savory hors d'oeuvre.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Ingredients

  • 2 large red bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons pectin
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • large, wide frying pan
  • pint-size glass jar, sterilized

Put bell peppers and habanero pepper in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Scoop the chopped peppers into a large skillet (Image 1). Add the sugar, vinegar, butter and salt, then bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook at a boil, stirring consistently for five minutes (Image 2). Add in the pectin and mix. Continue to boil until the jam thickens, about two more minutes (Image 3). Once the jam has set, let it cool and spoon into a sanitized airtight jar (Image 4). Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Serve on crackers with cheese (Image 4).

Pro tip: savory jams make wonderful gifts from the garden. Make an extra jar or two and share with friends!

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