9.11.15

Oh yes. You read that right. Tomato. Vanilla bean. Marmalade. There’s nothing better than a recipe like this one that combines delectable elements we never imagined throwing together.

Tomatomania! is the (dramatic!) name of a new cookbook inspired by the online community of the same name. Self-proclaimed “tomatomaniacs” Scott Daigre and Jenn Garbee give us an inside peek at Scott’s Ojai, California tomato garden and walk us through everything we’d ever need to know about our favorite nightshade, including 20 recipes to get the most out of the season’s harvest. Here’s Scott on why this crazy-unique recipe needs to be a part of your end-of-summer culinary lineup ASAP…

At our annual end-of-season Tomatomania tasting in L.A., Southern California ‘maniacs bring their gems of the season to share. After we taste every homegrown tomato (a hard job, I know), chef and fellow ‘maniac Jimmy Shaw prepares an incredible tomato-inspired brunch. At some point, the tomato-doused conversation always seems to circle back to tomato relishes, ketch­ups and jams, like this marmalade-style tomato preserve with vanilla beans.

The two ingredients may seem like unlikely kitchen friends, but go with me for a second; this recipe is well worth the vanilla bean splurge. The marmalade is fantastic on breakfast toast, piled on goat cheese-topped crusty bread, or crackers for a quick lunch or appetizer, or swirled into tangy frozen yogurt as a nightcap – just my kind of all-day tomato tasting.

Tomato Vanilla Bean Marmalade

Ingredients:

3 pounds very ripe, sweet tomatoes, blemishes and rough spots removed
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
generous pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

Cut the stem end off the tomatoes and remove any tough cores. Scoop out half the seeds with your finger (a few left are fine). Place the tomatoes in a colander over a bowl and roughly smash them into 1-inch chunks with your hands. Discard any skins that slip off while you work. Reserve the tomato water for another use.

Place the strained tomatoes, sugar, vanilla bean and scrapings, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to retain a low boil, and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has evaporated and the marmalade is glossy, 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the juiciness of the tomatoes. (The jam will thicken more as it cools.) Cool and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

From TOMATOMANIA, © 2015, by Scott Daigre & Jenn Garbee. Reprinted with permission of St. Martin’s Press.

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