Preserving Tomatoes: Sunshine in a Jar

Cherry Tomato-Vanilla Bean Preserves

Cherry Tomato-Vanilla Bean Preserves

This jammy tomato compote is perfect paired with a triple cream goat cheese or with firm white-fleshed fish dishes. Floral vanilla bean brings out the musky qualities of cherry tomatoes. It is best made with ripe tomatoes at the height of summer.Ganda Suthivarakom

The final weeks of summer typically whip me into a preserving frenzy. I try to capture the colors and tastes of the summer into jars in preparation for the coming cold weather. I'm especially inspired by the overflow of fleshy Romas, misshapen heirlooms, and sweet cherry tomatoes. For the past few summers, I've made a cherry tomato vanilla bean jam that tastes like late summer sunshine in a jar. The cherry tomatoes are cut crosswise so they hold their shape, suspended in the jam like hemispherical jewels. I leave the peel on and seeds in which simplifies the preparation and lends an appealing texture to the finished product. The vanilla bean adds an intriguing floral note that marries surprisingly well with the musky, lightly acidic fruit. I can't wait to serve it with creamy goat cheese or firm white fish in the fall and winter.