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All We Can Eat
Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 08/17/2011

Top Tomato extra: Jam and paletas

Above: Sweet and Savory Tomato Jam. Below, Tomato-Basil Peach Paletas. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel)

(Alicia Sokol)
Although the rules of our Top Tomato recipe contest prohibited “food pros” from submitting entries, we’re fortunate enough to count ourselves as official friends of bloggers Jennifer Perillo and Alicia Sokol, who offered a couple of their delicious recipes to add to the day.

Speaking of tomatoes, we’ve celebrated enough years of this competition to offer an all-star handful of recipes. Here they are:

How do they compare? How many of them have you tried?

2007 Caprese Granita

2008 ’Mato Sammidges

2009 Tomato Stack Salad

2010 Cream of Tomato Soup With Seafood

2011 Tomato Kimchi-Chi

Our food blogger pals’ recipes are after the jump.

Sweet and Savory Tomato Jam

Makes 1 1/2 pints

There’s just enough sweetness here to make this tomato jam incredibly versatile, whether you’re using it as condiment for roasted and grilled meats, a treat to slather on toasted baguette with fresh ricotta, and or as a base to make a hearty beef stew come wintertime.

At some point, you’re going to wonder if this jam will really thicken, then magically it all comes together, so hang in there.

MAKE AHEAD: The jam can be refrigerated in sterilized jars for up to 1 month; if canned using a water-bath process and stored properly, it can last up to 1 year.

From recipe developer Jennifer Perillo, who blogs at

3 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped

1 small onion, cut into small dice

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon (may substitute Real Lemon brand lemon juice)

1/2 small tart green apple, cut into small dice (about 1/2 cup)

If you’re packing this jam for long-term storage, have 3 clean, sterilized half-pint jars (see NOTES) with new lids and bands at hand.

Combine the tomatoes, onion, brown and granulated sugars, salt, coriander, cumin, vinegar, lemon juice and apple in a large saute pan over medium heat; once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours, (if using a 2-quart pot, the cooking time will be more like 3 hours) until it has thickened and reduced to a jamlike consistency.

Transfer to clean (preferably sterilized) glass jars. Cool, seal and refrigerate for up to 1 month, or use a hot-water canning bath for 15 minutes for long-term storage (see NOTES).

NOTES To sterilize the empty jars, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat so that the water is barely bubbling. Immerse 3 half-pint jars in the pot. Place the rings and lids in a separate small saucepan and cover them with very hot water. Leave the jars and lids immersed while you cook the jam. Fill the jars with the jam; seal the jars but not tightly, then immerse the jars in the hot-water bath for 15 minutes. Transfer the jars to the counter; when cool, tighten the lids and store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Tomato-Basil Peach Paletas

Makes 12 paletas

These were inspired by the Mexican-style (fruit-and-herb) ice pops made by Pleasant Pops and sold at Washington area farmers markets.

The result is like eating an icy version of a summer salad. The mixture freezes beautifully into a two-toned peach shade.

MAKE AHEAD: The paletas can be frozen for up to 1 week.

From Alicia Sokol of Washington, who blogs at

1 pound ripe red tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into small chunks

1 pound ripe yellow peaches, pitted and cut into quarters

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

4 large basil leaves

Pinch kosher salt

Have 2 sets of 6 ice pop molds (2 1/2 ounces per pop) and wooden popsicle sticks at hand.

Use a juice extractor to juice the cut tomatoes and peaches; the yield will be 2 3/4 to 3 cups. Discard the pulp. (If you dont have an extractor, puree the fruits together in a blender, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth, or double-strain, discarding the solids, to yield about the same amount of juice.)

Meanwhile, combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar; cook for a few minutes, then remove from the heat and add the basil leaves. Use the back of a spoon to bruise them in the hot liquid, then cover the saucepan and let the mixture steep to form a syrup for 15 minutes.

Uncover, discard the basil and let cool. (The syrup can be placed in the freezer for about 15 minutes in order to cool it faster, if desired.)

Combine the tomato-peach juice, the basil syrup and a pinch of salt in a large (1-quart) measuring container with a spout, stirring until well blended.

Pour the mixture into the molds, leaving a little room at the top for expansion. Freeze for about 1 hour, then insert the popsicle sticks. Return to the freezer; freeze the paletas until they are solid. To unmold them, run briefly the exterior of the molds briefly under warm tap water; the paletas should slide out with a gentle pull.

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 08/17/2011

Tags:  recipes, Bonnie S. Benwick

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