Sunday Brunch: Tomato-Basil Marmalade

[Photograph: Robin Bellinger]

I made this tomato-basil marmalade from Ad Hoc at Home to serve alongside a roast for a special dinner, but once it was in my refrigerator it kept finding its way into other meals. It is especially delicious with a soft, not-too-crumbly goat cheese, either on a piece of bread or atop a salad. Put it out at brunch time for guests to experiment with on toast, cheese, salad, or even sausage and other meats.

Here it is pictured alongside French toast. What you can't see is that the bread was slit and stuffed with a couple of spoonfuls of the marmalade before it was battered and fried. It was not bad, but this application didn't really allow the marmalade to shine as I expected it to. Next time I'll keep it simple, maybe whisking a spoonful of the acid-sweet tomatoes into olive oil and tossing that with tender lettuce—heaven.

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Sunday Brunch: Tomato-Basil Marmalade

About This Recipe

Yield:3-4 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped fennel
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped leek (white and palest green parts only)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 8 slightly underripe beefsteak tomatoes, about 5 ounces each, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 cups loosely packed basil leaves

Procedures

  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 375°. Put the fennel, onion, leeks and garlic in a 3-4 quart ovenproof saucepan and toss with a couple of glugs of oil until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until soft and lightly caramelized. Discard any bits that get charred.

  2. 2

    Add the brown sugar and vinegar to the pan, stir, and cook 20 minutes more.

  3. 3

    Stir in the tomatoes and cook for an hour and a half, stirring every 30 minutes. Taste the marmalade: if it still tastes strongly of vinegar, continue cooking until that flavor mellows.

  4. 4

    Use a slotted spoon to put the tomatoes into a storage container. Alternate spoonfuls of tomato with basil leaves. When all the tomatoes are in the jar, tamp them down a bit with the spoon and then pour over cooking liquid just to cover. (I ended up with only a spoonful or two of extra cooking liquid, but my tomatoes were rather juicy themselves, so it didn’t seem to matter.)

  5. 5

    Cover, let cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate for up to a month. When serving remove the basil leaves, which will have turned rather dingy.

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