A Simply Delicious Tomato Dish

The perfect dish for a busy hostess….

A Simply Delicious Spread that is sure to make your friends think this took you longer than it did! It’s fresh, vibrant, and tasty. Recipe compliments of one of my new staples: Tomatomania! I love the recipes in this book because it’s all about using garden fresh tomatoes, and I LOVE me some tomatoes… But I also love it because each of the recipes are so beautiful and allows for great, rustic, wine country-esk photos.

Tomato-Vanilla Bean Marmalade


At our annual end-of-the-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, pilled on goat cheese-topped crusty bread, or crackers for a quick lunch appetizer, or swirled into tangy frozen yogurt as a nightcap – just my kind of all-day tomato tasting.

Note: To make the jam with frozen tomatoes, reduce the sugar to ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (they lose juice when thawed). Thawed tomato skins slide off easily, so the marmalade with have a smoother, more jam-like consistency.



  • 3 pounds very ripe, sweet tomatoes, blemishes and rough spots removed
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • ½ cup vanilla bean, scraped
  • Generous pinch of kosher salt


  1. Cut the stem end off the tomatoes and remove and tough cores. Scoop out half the seeds with your fingers (a few left is fine). Place the tomatoes in a colander over a bowl and roughly smash into 1 inch chunks with your hands. Discard any skins that slip off while you work. Reserve the tomato water for another use.
  2. Place the strained the tomatoes, sugar, vanilla bean and scrapings, and salt in a medium sauce pan. 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.


Note: This jam does not have enough acidity to safely can and preserve.


Prime picks: Any sweet red or yellow tomatoes such as Thessaloniki, Lemon Boy, Early Girls, and bicolors similar to Pineapple.


Best left on the vine: Purple varieties often take on a muddy color when cooked; citrusy green varieties such as Garden Lime, Emerald Evergreen, and Green Moldovan don’t pair well with vanilla.

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