Selected Recipe: Tomato and Chilli Jam

Posted under Food and Wine Blog by Candice Bresler on 20th August 2013

Home-made Food Inspiration from Growing the Future

One of the most exciting aspects of visiting Grootbos for the first time, was visiting Growing the Future. I admit this may sound a little strange – getting excited about watching vegetables, fruit and herbs being grown when there are also spa baths and six-course dinners to be enjoyed – but a little background first.

We recently got married and now live in a flat. A lovely little flat, but one with no garden. To try and still curate our little patch of 'green' we have a planter box on our balcony – it's still in its infancy, but is filled with lettuce, spinach, spring onions, basil, mint, coriander – with rhubarb, brocolli and pak choi on the way.

You may now understand why I was so excited to garner a little 'green' knowledge from Growing the Future and pick up a few tips (and plants) to bring home with us. I'd definitely recommend a visit if you have a spare hour or two at the reserve – and of course, a visit to Green Futures on your way back, for amazingly cheap plants and herbs to take back to your garden or to give as gifts.

A tray of vibrant red tomatoes caught my eye in their greenhouse and it inspired this simple - tomato and chilli jam.

We enjoyed it with a loaf of warm sourdough and mature cheddar, but it would be a brilliant addition to your morning scrambled eggs or a lunchtime sandwich. Tomatoes are definitely next on our planter wish list. But, until then, we have this jam.

(Makes 1 cup)

  • 20 Mediterranean tomatoes, on the vine if possible (or very large cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pot over a high heat.
  2. Remove the tomatoes from the vine and place in the pot with the olive oil. Fry until the skins start to peel.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar and chili flakes and stir until the tomatoes are well coated.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, add the sugar and the vines of the tomatoes. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the tomatoes cook down a little.
  5. Simmer not-too-gently for approximately 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have given up most of their liquid and the sauce has reduced considerably.
  6. Your jam is ready if you coat a spoon with the 'jam', draw a line through it with your finger and it doesn't run. Remove from the pot and place in a serving bowl – allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

About the Author - Candice Bresler

Knowing a soufflé from a sauté, macaroon from macaron, she appreciates the experience of dining well – reviewing restaurants and appearing on a number of TV shows -  but she is truly a farm girl at heart : dreaming of long wooden tables, home-grown vegetables, wet nosed cows and wellington boots at the front door. Read more of Candice Grootbos blog posts, visit her at The Gorgeous Gourmet and follow her on Twitter @GorgeousBlog.

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