Those baskets of cherry tomatoes at the market are almost too pretty to eat. Almost. Still a little warm from the sun, they are summer's best candy. This little number cooks them down so that their juices caramelize just a bit and their natural sweetness comes out. The best part is that you do not even have to turn on the oven to make this magic happen. It is reminiscent of the flavors of a Spanish paella, but in a spread that you can smush on bread or dollop into all sorts of things like your morning eggs or your warm bowl of grains. It is rather addicting so do not be ashamed if you take your fork to it.
Saffron Tomato Jam
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
generous pinch of saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or quarters if large
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook 8-10 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent. Stir in spices and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add tomatoes and generous pinch of salt. Stir and when tomatoes start to release some liquid, reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook for 45-55 minutes or until tomatoes have broken down and become jammy. Stir often to prevent sticking. When just 2 minutes remain, stir in 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool. Store in jars for up to two weeks in the fridge. Makes about 2 cups.