Savory Spreads: Toms and Zukes

High-pectin, high-acid fruits are natural partners for low-pectin, low-acid vegetables in savory spreads. Get canning recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.

The first savory spread I canned, from Liana Krissoff’s Canning for a New Generation, featured tomatoes and basil. It inspired me not only to evolve the recipe but also to make other spreads that feature vegetables. Krissoff’s book also showed me the advantages of incorporating fresh fruit into these spreads. Pectin occurs naturally in fruits, and some fruits, like apples and oranges, have lots of it. Most fruits also have enough natural acid that you don’t need to add vinegar to preserve them safely. This makes them natural partners for low-pectin, low-acid vegetables.

In this week’s recipes, the apples don’t have to look or even taste perfect: you’re mainly interested in their pectin. So save your sweetest apples for fresh eating and use tart, underripe ones with your tomato and zucchini. You also have lots of choices for tomatoes and basil, but for the prettiest jars, stick to one color of each per batch.

Learn to make Tomato–Apple–Basil Jam and Fall Marmalade

Holiday Spice

Sweets top the list of foods given at the holidays, so some of my favorite “small” homemade gifts are short on sugar yet big on taste. Learn to make Sweet Spice Mix and Sweet and Spicy Nuts.
I like giving homemade food gifts. They’re appreciated by everyone: the child with a sweet tooth, the apartment dweller without room to garden, the new mom too busy to can, the grandparent who simply doesn’t need more stuff. But food gifts are also perfect for people you want to thank with something thoughtful that won’t break your year-end budget: your hairdresser or favorite coworker, your child’s soccer coach or piano teacher, the neighbor who feeds your cat or helped jump your car. Chances are none of these people need more candles, bath soaps, fridge magnets, or Christmas ornaments. But they all need to eat.

The first food gifts that come to mind during the holidays are cookies, and it’s certainly easy to stretch a batch as you prepare treats for the family or an exchange. But if your giftee has dozens of clients or students, the sugar load can add up fast. Some of my favorite “small” gifts are short on sugar yet big on taste.
Learn to make Sweet Spice Mix and Sweet and Spicy Nuts