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Published July 22, 2009, 12:00 AM

FRESH TOMATO RECIPES: Fresh Rainbow Salsa . . . Bacon and Tomato Jam

Fresh Rainbow Salsa

½ cup diced red onion

1 teaspoon salt

½ pound (about 6) ripe tomatillos

2 to 2½ pounds fresh tomatoes (a blend of sizes and colors)

1 medium-hot chili, such as serrano or jalapeno, or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 clove garlic, minced

In a small bowl, mix the onion and salt. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Peel and rinse the tomatillos. If desired, they can be roasted on a baking sheet for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then cooled. This is especially good if the tomatillos are not fully ripe (they should be yellow-green or purplish when ripe).

Roughly chop the tomatillos. Dice all the larger tomatoes. Cut any small cherry or grape tomatoes in half and large ones into 4 to 8 pieces. Currant-sized tomatoes should be used whole.

In a medium bowl, combine all the tomatoes and tomatillos.

Dice the chili. If you do not want a hot salsa, carefully remove the seeds and the membranes from the pepper before dicing. Gently stir the chili, cilantro, garlic and salted onion into the tomatoes. Add additional salt to taste.

Let stand for 20 minutes before serving. The salsa is best the day it is made, but it will keep refrigerated for about a week.

Yield: 4 cups

Bacon and Tomato Jam

½ pound smoked bacon

2 pounds very ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 cup sugar

2½ tablespoons cider vinegar

1½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large skillet over medium-high, cook the bacon until crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain excess fat, blotting it dry with additional towels as needed.

In a large saucepan, combine the tomatoes, onion, sugar, cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring often, then reduce heat to medium. Crumble the bacon into the tomato mixture.

Simmer until very thick, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper, as needed.

Let the jam cool, then ladle into jars. Can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. If freezing, divide the jam among several small jars.

When ready to use, let a jar thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Yield: 1 pint (16 2-tablespoon servings)

Approximate nutritional analysis per 2-tablespoon serving: 58 calories, 27 calories from fat; 3 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 7 milligrams cholesterol, 6 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams protein, no fiber, 266 milligrams sodium.

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