Sunday, September 19, 2010

Can you ever have too much crostini and wine?

Obviously, if you ask me, the answer is no.

But if I was a reader of this blog, at this point I might be starting to think that all I do is make alcoholic sorbet, and drink wine while eating crostini. Okay, I suppose lately that may be true. In fact, I have another sorbet in the ice cream maker as I write this. It’s pineapple and rum, as suggested by Matt over at Chilebomb (his site has tons of spicy recipes), and it looks fantastic. But this post isn’t about the sorbet, and it isn’t actually about the crostini either, that just happened to be the vehicle for this tasty topping.

There has been a bounty of homegrown (not mine, sadly) tomatoes in my fruit basket. They are big and red and ripe and juicy and sweet. Thankfully, they are nothing like the almost white tomato slices I had on my Jumbo Jack the other day. We are completely spoiled now, and it will be a sad day when the crop dries up. 

Caramelized onions and shallots have been the subject of many posts I’ve read lately, and I’ve been craving them. When I saw the onions and tomatoes sitting next to each other in the fruit basket, I knew what needed to happen… 

Caramelized Red Onion and Tomato Jam

Again, I’m not quite sure what to call a dish. This isn’t technically a jam, but it’s even further from being a chutney, relish, or coulis. So, jam it is. 

These are estimated measurements, but it really depends on the taste of your tomatoes anyway, so adjust as needed. 

2 red onions, chopped (about 1 1/2 - 2 cups)
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
sprig of thyme, chopped
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste 
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste 

Heat olive oil in a small pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine, then let the onions caramelize, stirring only occasionally. (It will take a bit of time.) Once the onions are at their desired level of caramelization, add the garlic and thyme and let the garlic soften. Stir in the tomato paste, and then add the chopped tomatoes and red pepper flakes, and another drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Season to taste. As the tomatoes cook, their juices will come out and the mixture will start to simmer. Turn down the heat, cover, and let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. 

As I said, I put this on crostini, and sprinkled them with a little parmesan cheese, but it could be used for just about anything in place of a sauce or condiment. Spread it on a chicken breast sandwich, use it as a pasta sauce (thinned with some pasta water), or use it as a dip for roasted shrimp. 

This jam is both savory and sweet with nice depth of flavor, and leaves a little tingle in your mouth from the red pepper flakes. 

Now I’ve got to get back to my sorbet…


  1. I might as well have been born Italian. I can make a meal out of good crusty bread, balsamic vinegar and ripe olive oil alone but this looks really appetizing. The tomatoes have such a deep rich color. Great photos...

    I can't wait to see how your sorbet turns out!


  2. This looks and sounds delicious!

  3. MMM!! A few years ago I would have skipped right over this post, but with my more developed and recent tomato appreciating taste buds, this looks amazing!

  4. Ooo, this sounds so good! And hey, why not live off alcohol-inspired ice cream, crostini and wine? I don't see anything wrong with that!

  5. Yum! I love anything tomato, and this recipe sounds just delicious:)

  6. No, you can never have enough crostini, especially with good wine! This is a real unique crostini, love the ingredients, and it's pretty as a picture! The photos are beautiful too.

  7. I can easily agree that NO, you can never have enough of either!! This sounds does your next alcoholic sorbet. NOM!

  8. Lovely crostinis, I don't think I even need dinner...just those babies and wine would be enough for a romantic night. Have a great week Karen.

  9. Your crostini looks delicious. I dont think you can have too much...YUM

  10. I don't think you can ever have too much wine or alcoholic sorbet! I've got to get an ice cream maker - a friend just made one with fresh limes and vodka! Your crostini looks AMAZING. I will have to try!

  11. No Karen, you can never have too much crostini and wine! Just added you to my blogroll so I can keep recipes like these coming! Thanks!

  12. Delicious cant get much fresher than this pictures and recipe !

  13. I say "no" as well! It sounds incredible!

  14. Perfect thing to do with the abundance of tomatoes I have left in our garden. Thanks for the recipe.

  15. Most definitely can not have too much of either. This crostini is great, I love the flavors and colors :)

  16. We tried your mushroom crostini and loved it! But, this one is over the top! Your recipes are easy to follow, and turn out as we hope they will. I agree, this could be used in many ways. Another keeper. Thanks.


  17. Wow! I 've been chekcing out your blog and I love it. Thanks for your visit. This wound mdake a perfect meal for me and My husband.

  18. Looks amazing! I love all the flavor combos!

  19. This looks so good! I will have to try soon.