LAWRENCE MURPHY: Spike juicy tomatoes with chillies

Tomato chilli jam made from plump, juicy tomatoes
Tomato chilli jam made from plump, juicy tomatoes

Apparently we are going to have a great summer which must mean we’ll have an abundance of beautiful fruit and vegetables coming through our kitchens. 

Apparently we are going to have a great summer, which must mean we will have an

abundance of beautiful fruit and vegetables coming through our kitchens.

I’m looking forward to plump gooseberries, bright red strawberries, peaches and deep red cherries from our local greengrocer. 

And we’re excited about radishes, French beans and fennel to make crunchy salads to enjoy al fresco, but there’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh tomatoes picked from the vine.

Although there are many different varieties of tomato they are easy to grow and all love the sun.

Even if you only grow a couple of these plants you will have enough for your salads and some left to preserve.

We like to preserve them by drying them slowly with thyme and garlic to use in pasta, or  cook the big juicy ones into tomato sauce.

The rest we turn into tomato jam spiked with red chillies, which is fab with burgers, a little salad and that great British summer.

Ingredients

500g tomatoes chopped

170g sugar

6 shallots chopped

4 cloves garlic finely chopped

Sea salt

12 black pepper corns

2 red chillies finely chopped

Tablespoon white wine vinegar

Bay leaf

Olive oil

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the shallots and garlic, cook for three minutes without colouring.

2. Add all the other ingredients and cook over a low heat until almost all liquid has gone – 20 to 30 mins.

3. Taste and add a little more vinegar if it’s too sweet.

4. Put into sterilised jars and store in a cool cupboard.