Rosemary Tomato Jam

Recipe courtesy of Merrilee Olson

This savory jam is not for tea and toast. Use it as a condiment with a rich cheddar cheese, grilled pork or roast chicken. It makes a fabulous addition to a grilled cheese sandwich.

If you have them, my favorite tomatoes for this are Black Plums or Black Cherokees, which are smaller than Romas, slightly spicy and a deep red-brown color. If you don’t have those, any tomato variety will do. This is a versatile recipe; feel free to substitute chili for a spicy tomato jam, or use anise seed, tarragon or thyme in place of fresh rosemary.

YIELD: 6 pints or 12 half-pints


  • 14 pounds tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 4 cups evaporated cane sugar
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of three lemons
  • 6 (4-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary


Have your clean, sterilized jars and lids ready. Fill your boiling water bath 1/2 full and place on the stove over low heat.

Combine all of the ingredients except the rosemary in a heavy-bottom pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat until the mixture is simmering and cook, stirring often, for 45 minutes. Add the rosemary sprigs and continue cooking for about half an hour, or until the mixture is reduced to the consistency you want. It should be thick and glistening—jam-like. Remove the rosemary stems.

Immediately fill the jars, wipe the rims and place the lids. Tighten only until “fingertip tight.” Place the jars in the boiling water bath, making sure that the water covers the tops of the jars by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, cover and process for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the jars to a cooling rack and tighten the lids. Allow to cool undisturbed.

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