This nut free and gluten free granola will change your life forever. Seriously.Read More
Around this time last year, my husband and I were back in America. We had just sold all our remaining possessions in Seattle and were embarking on the second leg of our journey, a "farewell America" tour of sorts to New York, Maine, then down to Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina and finishing in California.
In some cities (like New York or LA) we expected great food, but some others we had lower expectations for really ended up impressing us. Raleigh, NC was one such city that wasn’t on our radar as a foodie town, but ended up having so many gems. One brunch restaurant we tried was Beasley’s Chicken & Honey, which as you might have guessed by the name was elevated soul food, fried chicken & waffles the specialty. Of course we ordered what they were famous for, but we also tried a variety of sides, including a mac and cheese custard situation I am still dreaming about and a green cabbage slaw with roasted tomatoes and malt aioli which is what inspired this recipe.
At the time, I was apprehensive about the idea of tomatoes in a coleslaw. Roasted ones at that? In a slaw? I really had never had a coleslaw with tomatoes and was there a reason for that, I wondered? Like maybe it shouldn’t be done? I confessed all my concerns to both the waiter and my husband, who both assured me that I should try it if I was so curious and if I don’t like it we could always get something else, and basically it’s a $3.00 side, not a life partner, so we should move on with our lives and make a decision. The chicken and waffles were of course amazing, but what I was still thinking about days, weeks, and months later was that slaw! Creamy, crunchy, but simple, with the sweetness and smokiness of the roasted tomatoes, and super zingy from the Malt vinegar. I knew I wanted to try making my own version of this at home so I could enjoy those flavors again and again and again.
Although what I love about this recipe is its simplicity, it’s also infinitely adaptable. You could add in shredded carrots, shaved fennel, or whatever other onion or herb you fancy. If you have cherry tomatoes, you could absolutely use those instead. I opted for the larger tomatoes so they would be easier to de-seed, as I didn’t want a lot of tomato seeds in my slaw, so just keep that in mind if roasting cherry tomatoes. When assembling your slaw, all your ingredients should be chilled, and the tomatoes completely cooled after roasting to encourage a nice crisp, crunchy slaw. There is way less sugar in this slaw than would be traditionally in a coleslaw because I personally like slaws to be unmistakably savory and have also added a little yogurt to the dressing to reduce the amount of mayo without taking away any creaminess. Although technically the fennel seeds are optional, please don't skip them. They are really, really good in this.
The other reason I’m so excited about this recipe is because it’s part of another seasonal collaboration! Annie and Rebecca & Ruth invited me to another quarterly collab of food bloggers and this time the theme was TOMATOES, so I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to contribute. Late summer tomatoes, is there really anything better? It’s a fun group of bloggers, all bringing a different, creative dish to the virtual table, so if you’re on IG, make sure you check out the hashtag #wesaytomatoes for some awesome inspo and recipes featuring tomatoes in every way you can imagine. There are close to 70 of us participating so there are too many to link here, but here are just a handful that sound amazing to me:
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
1 large head (about 1 lbs) of cabbage, thinly sliced or 16oz pre-shredded
2 large beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, de-seeded and diced (about 1.5 cups)
2 tsp olive oil
pinch salt & pepper
3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
FOR THE DRESSING
1/3 cup mayo
2 Tbs plain full-fat yogurt or sour cream
2 Tbs malt vinegar
1.5 tsp sugar
1.5 tsp celery seeds
1 Tbs fennel seeds
salt to taste
WHAT YOU'LL DO
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss your de-seeded diced tomatoes with the 2 tsp of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper and spread in an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet or baking dish. Roast your tomatoes for 15-20 mins, until soft and caramelized, nearly charred on some edges. Remove and completely cool.
Put your fennel seeds in a dry pan, preheated on medium heat and toast for a few minutes until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar & pestle and crush lightly, not to a powder but until many of the pods are broken. Set aside.
Combine your cabbage and scallions in a large bowl. Once the tomatoes are completely cooled, add those in.
To make your dressing, combine all the remaining ingredients (mayo, yogurt, malt vinegar, sugar, celery seed, & toasted fennel seeds in a small bowl, whisk until smooth. Add salt to taste. Pour the dressing over the slaw, toss to combine, and serve immediately.
I’m a crunchy slaw girl, as in, I don’t like it when it gets soft in the slightest, so I recommend consuming it within an hour, but my husband ate the slaw the next day after being refrigerated overnight and said the flavors were even better and the cabbage was still crunchy enough to his liking so I think it really comes down to personal preference.
Confession: I don’t love quinoa. I know it’s good for you, and I’ve tried to make myself like it. But I just don’t. That is, until I made this salad. In this salad, I actually love quinoa. Some years ago, I was working as a personal chef for a vegetarian family and in looking for inspiration, came across this Food and Wine recipe and decided to adapt it to make my own similar version. I had never been a fan of quinoa because I felt like it had an earthy (as in dirty, not umami) taste and when I’d had it prepared, it was usually terribly under seasoned. That’s why this salad is the savior of quinoa haters. Because there are so many incredible, bold spices in this, it completely masks the “funk” of quinoa and it’s aggressively seasoned so it’s not just a boring, healthy grain bowl that you eat just because it's good for you and not because you actually want to. You will WANT to eat quinoa in this salad from here to eternity, I promise you.
First you’ll make a spice mix that includes really delicious warming spices like cardamom, cinnamon, smoked paprika, cayenne, and ginger, and then that spice mix gets distributed into every element of the salad… tossed with the carrots, onions, and fennel before roasting, into the quinoa as it cooks, as well as in the salad dressing, so every bite is packed with flavor. There is some maple syrup in the dressing as well as dried fruit to give it delightful flashes of sweetness, lemon juice for a subtle tang, toasted pine nuts for crunch and nuttiness, and then parsley and micro greens to finish and brighten it up.
Aaaand as a bonus, this salad is allergen friendly, gluten free and vegan! Oddly enough, I do have a few friends that are allergic to quinoa, and if that’s the case with you, wheat berries, farro, pearled barley, brown rice, or couscous would also work well in the place of quinoa here. I traditionally roast fennel with the carrots because I think it adds an awesome flavor and texture that really works in this salad, but if you want to use another vegetable in it’s place or just use carrots to keep it more simple, that would be fine! It will be hard to mess up this salad and adapting it to suit your preferences should be easy.
This post is my contribution to another big collaboration of bloggers celebrating a seasonal ingredient and this time the theme was carrots! When Rebecca from and Annie from reached out to me to ask me to be part of this combined effort, I immediately knew I wanted to make this salad for it.
There are too many amazing recipes to mention, as we have about 70 participants, but here are just a few titles that caught my eye:
And if you want more inspiration, you can see more carrot recipes by using the hashtag on Instagram #24carrotgoals. Come check it out if you’re on IG!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
300 grams/ 2/3 lbs fingerling carrots, halved lengthwise (or about 3 large, cut into pieces roughly the size of your pinky)
1 large bulb of fennel, stalks removed and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup uncooked tri-color quinoa
2 tsp spice mix
1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
2 Tbs flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
microgreens and/or arugula, for serving
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp dijon
3 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp spice mix
1/2 tsp salt
WHAT YOU'LL DO
Preheat the oven to 400 F / 200 C.
In a small bowl, whisk the ingredients for your spice mix.
In a medium bowl, toss the sliced carrots, fennel, and onion with 2 Tbs olive oil. Add 2 Tbs of the spice mix and toss to coat. Spread the vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and roast for roughly 20- 25 minutes, stirring to redistribute from the edges at least once. When tender and caramelized, remove and let the vegetables cool on the pan.
Meanwhile, in a small pot or medium saucepan with lid, combine the quinoa with 2 tsp of the spice mix and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, uncovered, on medium-high heat. Once at a rolling boil, turn your heat down to low, simmer, and cover until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and let cool.
Combine all your ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk until emulsified. Set aside.
Transfer your cooled quinoa to a larger mixing bowl. Add your cranberries and pine nuts along with the chopped parsely. Then add the roasted carrots, fennel, and onion to the bowl. Mix to combine. Pour in your dressing and mix to combine again. Taste and season with more salt, if needed. At this point the salad keeps well for days in the refrigerator.
Top with micro greens and serve over a bed of arugula, if desired.
If not serving immediately or making this salad to enjoy for lunch over multiple days, keep the greens separate so they don’t wilt. This salad is best served at room temperature and serves 4.
This recipe is due entirely to popular demand. The story goes: Every week I try to make sure I have a fresh batch of hummus along with baggies of prepped vegetables so that when my husband opens up the fridge looking for a snack he hopefully reaches for the healthy option because it’s already there and made. We are all creatures of convenience, but I really like the guy so I’m always doing what I can to help him live as long as possible.
I normally make hummus using chickpeas, but when I went to whip up a batch one afternoon, all I had were lentils on hand. I love lentils and love switching things up, so I made this batch of hummus with the lentils, plated it with some herbs and gomasio, snapped a few quick photos, and posted it to Instagram. I thought it was pretty enough, but I never expected how much attention it got! It appears to be the most popular photo I’ve ever posted on social media and got re-featured multiple times. You never know what will get people excited I guess! Who would have thought the humble “Lentil hummus with lemony, herby vibes” would be the best seller? But I got flooded with comments and direct messages of people looking for the recipe on my site but unable to find it. This is a good problem to have.
Truth be told, making something just to eat it and making something to blog about it are not the same process. The first time I made the hummus, it wasn’t with the view to sharing the recipe so I didn’t bother measuring or keeping track of my steps, or taking any additional snapshots of the process or ingredients, something that is typically expected on blog posts.
So I remade it and actually recorded the recipe this time for the express purpose of sharing it with you fine folk.
Without further ado, here it is!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
1 (400 gram) can cooked lentils, drained & rinsed
(or 1 1/3 cup cooked lentils)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1.5 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbs tahini
1 Tbs good quality olive oil
1/2 Tbs water
Optional Toppings :
Roughly chopped fresh herbs (I used basil, dill, & green onion. Use what you have or love)
Gomasio (toasted sesame seeds + sea salt)
a good glug of olive oil
WHAT YOU'LL DO
Combine the cooked lentils (reserving a spoonful for garnish if you desire), tahini, lemon juice, salt, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse a few times until it is a consistent, thick mash and most of the lentils are smashed. Then add your olive oil, running the machine now on a setting that will puree it thoroughly. Scrape down the sides and blend once more. Add the water and blend on high speed until light and airy. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
I personally like to serve the hummus slightly chilled before serving (about 30 mins in the fridge), but be prepared for the mixture to firm up substantially if completely cold. When ready to serve, pile on a plate and use the back of a spoon or offset spatula to spread the mixture out in a circular motion, leaving deeper swoops to create small ravines for toppings. Garnish as desired with any or all of the toppings mentioned.
Keeps well in the refrigerator for at least a week and in my opinion, only improves in flavor with time.
Although I am not a vegetarian, since moving to Thailand, I’ve gravitated to cooking solely vegetarian meals at home. Because of the convenience and low cost of eating local food, we probably eat out one meal per day, at least lunch or dinner. Very few Thai foods are vegetarian, so out of convenience and need for protein, I find myself eating chicken and fish with more frequency than I did in America. My husband eats pork more frequently than he ever did. So in an effort to counter-act the meat consumption while dining out, the meals I do make at home now are vegetarian about 95% of the time. The hubby is a really good sport: he appreciates that I try to keep us balanced. He honestly doesn’t mind if a dish has meat or not, is vegan or not, as long as its absolutely delicious, makes him feel full, and is packed with flavor. And that’s how it should be.
I really only blog about things that I make and enjoy myself. Whether that is vegan, gluten free, and dairy free (as in the case with this recipe) or full of cream, eggs and sugar (see one post back: Thai coffee crepe cake), the one thing I can guarantee you is I’m always sharing something that we find delicious. Period. But hopefully there is something for everyone here.
The story for this recipe goes back a few years. When I was single, I was living in Portland, OR and decided to head up to Orcas Island, WA for the weekend to see my friend Kim. She showed me all the loveliest Pacific Northwest island sights there were to see and as we strolled through the Saturday farmer’s market, we ran into a couple she knew. We made introductions, and immediately after they invited us to dinner that night because they had a boatload of fresh caught Dungeness crab. To which question there is only ever one answer and that is a resounding “Yes. Yes, we just met, but I can most certainly help you eat your boatload of crab.”
Later that evening, we did sit down to the loveliest of dinners and a true lesson in hospitality: all the crab I could eat with my own personal vat of melted butter. But here’s the part where I get to my point. The couple who had invited us over was also entertaining their own off-island guest, and she was a vegan. In my head I thought, "fine by me, that’s a higher crab-to-person ratio with her out of the game," but then something interesting happened.
The ultimate hostess, Gretchen, made this vegan girl her own dinner, and you guessed it, it was THIS recipe.
Once I tried it, I COULD NOT STOP EATING IT. I was busy literally tearing into my favorite meal of all time, and yet was so impressed by this vegan side dish that I was also stealing as much as I could of this poor girl’s only food. Not my proudest moment, but what I’m trying to say is, not much could normally distract me from cracking into an endless pile of Dungeness crab legs and essentially drinking the accompanying melted butter, but somehow this humble vegan stew served over sweet potatoes stole my attention to the point where it made an equal impression on me.
When I did a google search for the recipe to make it for myself some months later, I found a recipe from TheKitchn.com that seemed to contain all the ingredients I’d remembered fondly from that first encounter. I’ve adapted the recipe over the years to suit my own preferences, but the core ingredients are still there. They aren't necessarily ingredients you automatically pair together at first thought, but trust me they work.
These braised chickpeas are very hearty, with a rich creaminess from the coconut milk that is balanced by the zing of fresh grated ginger and lemon zest, earthy smokiness from sun dried tomatoes, as well as a lingering heat from the crushed red chili. The chopped spinach adds that lovely leafy heft that only stewed greens can, but cooks down so quickly that this stew is ready to serve in less time than it takes to roast the potatoes accompanying it--making it the perfect meatless Monday or weeknight meal. So I recommend getting those potatoes in the oven ASAP, before you start on the chickpeas so they aren’t holding you up at the end. It’s also lovely spooned over brown rice, should you prefer that as a bed for your braised chickpeas instead. Although the toppings of cilantro and toasted coconut flakes are technically optional, in my mind they are not, they really make the perfect toppers.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
1/2 Tbs coconut or olive oil
1 small yellow sweet onion, diced
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1.5 Tbs fresh (finely) grated ginger, from a peeled 3-4 inch piece
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 large lemon: all the zest from it + 1 Tbs juice
2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 bunch of spinach (stems removed) or 1 (6 oz) bag of baby spinach, leaves roughly chopped
1 (14 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Roasted sweet potatoes or steamed brown rice
Cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
WHAT YOU’LL DO
Heat the oil in a medium-large skillet, wok, or pot over medium heat. Add just your onions and cook, stirring occaisionally until starting to brown, about 5 mins. Add in the grated ginger, garlic, lemon zest, sun dried tomatoes, and red chili flakes (if using). Stir often, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. The grated ingredients will start to stick to the bottom of the pan and brown a bit, but don’t worry.
Add in the chickpeas and cook on medium-high heat for another 3-4 minutes, until the chickpeas are darkening in color and coated in the garlic and ginger.
Toss in the chopped spinach leaves. You may need to do it in two batches, waiting for the first half to cook down to make room for the rest of it. After all the spinach is combined and wilted, add the coconut milk, along with the lemon juice, 1 tsp of salt, and a pinch of pepper.
Bring to a simmer, stirring with a spatula to make sure all the bits stuck to the bottom are incorporated into the sauce. Once simmering, turn the heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes more, until chickpeas are softened and the coconut milk has thickened. It should be a lovely stew-like consistency.
Taste for seasoning and adjust, adding perhaps more salt or lemon juice if you feel it's needed.
Slice open your whole roasted potatoes and scoop the chickpeas into the center, then top with cilantro and toasted coconut. Serve warm.
Serves 4-6, depending on the size of your potatoes.
Let me start out by saying that this dish is vegan, although I am not. I say this as a disclaimer because although I really do admire the determination of vegans and see the benefits to their lifestyle, sometimes they go so long without all the food groups that their judgement of what tastes good, in my opinion, can be slightly impaired. But—if you ask someone who still eats animal products if a vegan meal is delicious and It STILL holds up, see, now you know you have something special. This is not a good “for being vegan” recipe. It’s just plain good, whoever you are and whatever you eat.
It’s actually one of the only things I’ve made in a long time that as soon as we had inhaled it, I wanted to eat it all over again. Immediately. I don’t like repeating meals often (because I have a fear of getting stuck in a food rut and I like to constantly try new foods, new recipes), so what I’m trying to say is, for me that’s saying A LOT. There are very few foods I even want to eat once a week, much less all over again the very next day. But this is one of them.
When I first saw a photo of Ottolenghi’s recipe for this pasta, my first thought was, “Oooh how pretty!” The colors just pop. When plated, this simple noodle dish is a total show stopper. Then I thought, skeptically for a moment, “Now, how would all those ingredients work?” MANGO. I like. EGGPLANT. I like. But TOGETHER? Can that be done? But I knew instantly I had to try. Because Ottolenghi is somewhat of a genius when it comes to food, especially anything vegetarian, and if he says something will work, I trust it. I’ve adapted his recipe, but for the most part stayed true to the intent of it. And trust me. The eggplant and mango, together? IT WORKS. Nuttiness from the noodles, creamy, sweetness from the almost buttery mango, smokiness from the eggplant, lightened by the crispness and zing from raw herbs and onion, tied together by the subtle tanginess of the dressing. Its like these ingredients were meant to be together.
Even if you’ve never been a big eggplant fan, give it another try in this. When fried, it softens and takes on a lovely flavor and texture that is in no way spongy or bitter like eggplant can be sometimes. It’s really quite decadent. The buckwheat soba noodles are so healthy, with less calories but more protein and and fiber than your average pasta, and taste good at any temperature. This dish is served slightly chilled or at room temp, but not hot, making it SO perfect for a warm spring or summer day.
I love how this noodle dish utilizes asian flavors and ingredients, but in a really inventive, fresh and light way. It’s filling, but not heavy. If you don’t want to use tofu, no problem. It won’t make or break the dish, although I felt like it added a nice textural component as well as the obvious added protein. Consider adding more eggplant in it’s place. As weather starts to warm up, this would be a perfect light lunch or dinner starter along with a white or rosé wine, enjoyed outside if at all possible.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 fresh red Thai chiles*, most seeds removed, finely chopped
1 tbs toasted sesame oil
1 lime, zested and juiced completely
2/3 cup preferred oil (for frying only)
1 medium eggplant, or about 12 baby eggplants, cut into 3/4-inch pieces or rounds (about 2 loosely-packed cups total)
300 grams/10.5 oz soba noodles
200 grams/7 oz tofu, or more as desired
1 large ripe mango, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/3 red onion or 2 shallots, very thinly sliced
1 heaping cup fresh herb leaves, two or three of the following: cilantro, basil, Thai basil, and mint, roughly chopped or ribboned **
*I used 1.5 Thai chiles, and felt the heat was just right. But if you can't handle much spice, scale back, or use a pinch of crushed red pepper instead
**I used equal portions of Thai basil, fresh mint, and cilantro
WHAT YOU’LL DO
First, place the tofu (still in a block) on a rimmed plate lined with paper towels, cover with another layer of paper towels, and another plate. Set something weightier (like a bowl with a bag of flour or rice, or coffee table book) on the plate. The goal is to push some of the moisture out of the tofu. The trick to crispy fried tofu is it being less moist. Try to leave it untouched for 20 mins or so, while you prep other ingredients and when you are ready to fry it, pat dry, and cut into 1 inch cubes.
In a small saucepan gently warm the vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add in the garlic, chile, and sesame oil. Allow to cool, then add the lime zest and juice. Set aside, this will be your dressing.
Heat up your frying oil in a large pot or skillet and shallow-fry the eggplant in small batches, so that the eggplant is in an even, single layer. Flip or shake pan so it is able to brown evenly on all sides. Once golden brown remove to a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and leave there to drain. Repeat the steps in the same oil with the tofu.
Cook the noodles according to package directions in a pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally. They should be tender but still al dente. Drain and rinse well under running cold water, shake off as much of the excess water as possible, then leave to dry on a dish towel or paper towel lined bowl.
In a mixing bowl toss the noodles with the dressing, mango, eggplant, half of the herbs and the onion. You can now leave this aside for up to two hours before serving for flavors to meld. Just before serving, add in the rest of the herbs and fried tofu, mix well, and then serve.
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s amazing vegetarian cookbook, Plenty.
It’s been so fun exploring all the local markets here in Thailand. Learning where they are, which ones have the best prices, the best selection etc. There is an awesome produce market within walking distance or a short scooter ride from our condo and I went a little crazy the other day buying produce. I try to have a plan usually of what I’m going to make with it before hand, but I bought soooooo many cherry tomatoes because they were so inexpensive and looked so good. I buy Thai basil constantly just to have it on hand because it’s about 5 to 7 baht for a bunch with 10-12 stems. In USD, that’s about 15-20 cents. So this jam was born by a desire to be resourceful by using up some of my produce that I had on hand after a little Thai farmers market spree, but has honestly become our new favorite condiment.
I’ve had tomato jams in the past that are almost candy-sweet and the skins, seeds, and cores of the tomatoes have been removed, either steamed off the tomatoes before being added to the jam, or reserved with a fine mesh sieve after cooking. But I wanted this jam to be 1) easy 2) be a little less sweet, a little more savory and 3) have some textural components. So, I used the entire cherry tomato, seeds, skins and all. We’re not bothered at all by the tomato skins or seeds in this jam, in fact we quite enjoy it, and along with the basil ribbons and diced onion, it’s definitely more of a chunky jam.
If you want some suggestions as to what to eat it with, I recommend using as an accompaniment to a cheese plate, with crackers or veggies, or on biscuits/ savory scones with whipped goat cheese or cream cheese. It's ridiculous on grilled cheese sandwiches. But one of our favorite ways to enjoy it has been on breakfast sandwiches! This jam, with it’s slight sweetness and acidity is the perfect accompaniment to eggs. I toast a little bun or biscuit, slather this jam generously on it, and top with a fried egg or a slice of sheet pan eggs (which is a genius idea I got from Food 52 here and you should definitely try it). It’s my favorite make-ahead mid week brekky situation right now.
This is a small batch refrigerator/freezer jam recipe because it was an attempt to quickly use up produce on hand and I didn’t want to make a large production out of it. I also didn’t want to have to worry about sealing the jar to store it for later because we wanted to eat it ASAP but if you wanted to scale this recipe to make multiple jars, seal them properly, and save them for later, you most certainly could! This recipe yields about 16 oz, and just filled just one pint size jar. I would recommend eating it within 3 weeks, which should be no problem for a spread this versatile and delicious.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
1 lb (about 450 grams) cherry/plum tomatoes
1 small (or 1/2 a large) yellow onion
1/2 cup roughly chopped sweet Thai basil leaves*
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
up to 1/2 cup water, or as needed
*Here in Thailand, Thai basil is just basil. The basil as we know it in America or Europe is much rarer to come by and it’s definitely more expensive. Often there are two types of Thai basil available, both sweet and hot, and what I used here was the sweet. If your local grocery store doesn’t sell Thai basil, or regular basil is more affordable/ attainable for you, feel free to use that here instead.
WHAT YOU'LL DO
First, wash thoroughly and then chop all the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Very small ones can be halved. Dice the onion. Put the tomatoes and onion in a medium shallow saucepan on medium-high heat and begin to cook, uncovered for about 5 minutes while you get all the other ingredients ready. The onions will start to sweat and the tomatoes soften and release their juices.
Add the rest of the ingredients besides the water, and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally for about 20-30 minutes. The mixture should darken in color and thicken considerably. Measure out roughly 1/3 of the jam and pulse in a food processor or blender and add the puree back into the jam. (Alternately you could use a few pulses of an immersion blender). Continue cooking on medium heat, as it bubbles and thickens even more. After 10 more minutes, taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Note: My mixture got rather thick before I thought it was quite done cooking, so after I had checked for seasoning, I poured in 1/2 cup water and continued cooking the mixture down for an additional 8-10 minutes. Most of the liquid burned off again, and I was at my desired consistency. But you may not feel that this is a necessary step for you at all.
Remove from heat and fill a sanitized (pint sized) jar or sterile glass container with your jam!
Put it on anything. Seriously though. Just about anything. Or eat it with a spoon.
Not that I’ve done that or anything...
Enjoy for up to 3 weeks when stored in the refrigerator.