This melt-in-your-mouth jammy tomato-onion spread is absolutely worthy of a 1-hour simmer. It’s a delicious appetizer all on its own served with crackers or crostini, or as an addition to a cheeseboard. Or, add the savory spread to sandwiches or mix into eggs.
Here we are: the final recipe, or could you say the final four(th)? I suppose this Jammy Tomato Red Pepper Spread doesn’t need any attempt at dad-joke cleverness. It shines all on its own.
By the time we first had something similar in Nice, we’d had our fair share of olive tapenades and had been loving them. Then this really rocked our world.
Tomato Tapenade or Spread?
It’s not really a tapenade since it’s not made with olives, or capers, or any of those briny things. But it is similar in that it finds its place on the table just before the main courses, as an appetizer. And it’s so perfectly spread on top of little crostini that it makes your heart sing.
So a spread is what we’re calling it. Because you can spread it on crackers or crostini, or spread it on toast with eggs, or spread it on a sandwich… you can really spread it on whatever your savory tomato heart desires.
I honestly don’t know the real name of this sort of spread, or if there is one. I’m sure there’s one, and I’m sure that little restaurant in Nice had some sort of name for it. Many times in France we just saw it on the menu paired with the artichoke tapenade/spread as “tomatoes and red pepper” or “tomatoes”.
So I guess it could be tomato spread. Or red pepper spread. But it’s the combination that is important. And the jamminess. Ohhhh, the jamminess.
How to Make Tomato Red Pepper Jam
FRIENDS. Tomato Red Pepper Spread is THE spread of spreads and it needs to be on every cheese board or appetizer extravaganza from here on out, ok?
It’s a simple mix of onions, tomatoes, red pepper, and of course some garlic. They slowly simmer together with some olive oil – at first, covered, and then not – for about an hour. Before you click that little X at the top, IT IS WORTH IT. I promise.
It’s a pretty hands-off hour, too. They simmer and break down and become this luxurious combination of creaminess, and jamminess, and all sorts of levels of savory.
How should you serve this tomato red pepper jam spread? Not only is it amazing by itself on a crostini, but it would make a dynamite addition to sandwiches (like, hello Ultimate BLTs or grilled cheese), quesadillas, or even thrown in a hearty salad.
Hear me: the possibilities are endless.
Jammy Tomato Red Pepper Spread
- 1/2 cup tomatoes ~2 lg. Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper diced
- 1-2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 1/2 TBSP olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Remove tomato skins: make a cross-slit in the top of the tomatoes. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the tomatoes for 1 minute. Remove tomatoes and put them in an ice bath. Remove and peel off the skins. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, remove their seeds, and then dice the flesh.
- Heat a ceramic pot or dutch oven over medium heat (stainless steel and tomatoes can react to have a metallic taste so it's best to avoid those). Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the diced onion and cook for 5-7, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the tomatoes, red bell pepper, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt. Simmer with a lid for 30 minutes.
- After the 30 minutes have passed, remove the lid and continue simmering for another 30 minutes, stirring occassionally. Other the hour, the consistency will become more jam-like.
- Taste for salt levels and adjust as needed. Remove from heat and let cool; serve room temperature or warm.