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What a busy week! These gorgeous summer-like days have extended our time in the garden and with the knowledge that wintery weather can’t be too far away, I’ve been making the most of every opportunity to be outside! My focus has been to harvest the last of the Orchard and Greenhouse crops and to turn them all in to delicious items to eat…. First up, the Green House, a domain that has, this summer, been home to our tomato, chilli and pepper plants. And what a crop we’ve had this year – more tomatoes than La Tomatina and some seriously feisty chillies. The peppers were deliciously sweet, and all three combined made the most fantastically versatile sauce (chuck them all in a roasting tray, oil and season and bake for aprox. 40mins – you can add garlic and/or red onion to the tray, should you wish. When seductively oozey and soft, throw everything in the food processor and whizz. Some folks like to take the skins off the veg; I never seem to have the time and it tastes divine either way. Keeps well in the freezer and is wonderful in pasta dishes or slathered on to pizza bases. If you fancy something milder, just roast the seasoned and oiled garlic and tomatoes, like Mrs. V does here in the office – pictured below).
My freezer is stuffed full of this tasty dish, so what was I to do with the final Green House offering? As far as the boss is concerned, there’s only one direction for chillies and tomatoes, and that’s Chilli Jam! JV swears by Sarah Raven’s recipe, which I’ve provided below. It’s unbelievably good in a cheddar cheese sandwich, served as a dip for calamari or even as an accompaniment to roast meat and ham…
For about 6 small jars:
500g tomatoes (ripe, green, yellow, any which way!)
4 x garlic cloves, peeled
4 x large red chillies (seeds in if you like it hot. Some do…)
6-7cm piece of root ginger, peeled and roughly sliced
300g golden caster sugar
2tbsp thai fish sauce
100 ml red wine vinegar
Blitz the tomatoes with garlic, chillies and ginger in a food processor. Pour in to a heavy based saucepan or jam pan.
Add the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar and bring to the boil, stirring slowly. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-40mins, stirring from time to time. The mixture will turn deliciously darker and sticky.
Store in warm, dry sterilised jars and seal while the mixture is still warm. The longer you keep this jam the hotter it gets!