Sesame-Studded Tomato Jam


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    6 to 8

    ; makes 3 cups

Appears in

The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

By Paula Wolfert

Published 2003

  • About

To make this marvelous preserve, tomatoes are first scorched in a hot oven to bring out their natural sweetness, then cooked down in a skillet. The jam is delicious with hot Semolina Griddle Bread or served in dollops on freshly steamed couscous.

Toasted sesame seeds add an inimitable nutty flavor. For a different taste, substitute a pinch of North African baharat, a spice mixture made with equal amounts of dried orange rind and dried ground rosebuds, and pinches of ground ginger and cinnamon to taste. Chef-owner Fatima Hal, of the Restaurant Mansouria in Paris, often adds pinches of powdered dried rose petals and nutmeg to flavor her tomato jam.

This jam can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Sprinkle with sesame seeds just before serving.


  • 4 pounds red ripe Roma or other tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey, preferably wildflower honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • teaspoons orange flower water
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sesame seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet and roast turning occasionally, until charred and soft, about 1 hour. Let cool, then peel, core, seed, and coarsely chop to make about cups. (Do not use a food processor.)
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add the tomatoes and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until all the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes are sizzling and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the honey, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a minute to bring up the flavors. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the orange flower water and correct the seasoning, adding more cinnamon if desired. Serve in a flat bowl, garnished with a topping of sesame seeds.