For me, the best part of food shopping is when I come across a special little product that rocks my world. (I cook for a living, so I’m constantly scoping out what’s on shelves.) On a recent trip to the store, I spotted this jam made by Divina, producer of all kinds of jarred condiments and olives. It’s vegan and gluten-free, and just a terrific way to spruce up all kinds of foods and holiday platters.
Made from piquillo peppers, cane sugar, Limo peppers, and lime juice, the first jar of Divina Peruvian Pepper Jam to hit my kitchen lasted only about a week. Many jams, jellies, and preserves contain artificial pectin, which I am allergic to, and so my jam-love is somewhat constricted. When I find a preserve made without added pectin, it’s very exciting! And this sweet, spicy, and savory condiment blew me away with its versatility.
Yes, of course you can add it to a grazing table or charcuterie board; and you should. It pairs beautifully with cheeses of all kinds, including Manchego, goat cheese, and Brie. A smear on a crusty baguette with some prosciutto draped lovingly across it is dreamy. You can also combine it with mayo, sour cream, or plain Greek yogurt to create an impromptu dip for raw vegetables. Or spread a bit of the jam on seared squares of firm tofu.
It makes a great addition to your weeknight roasted vegetables (add a dollop of the jam and toss the vegetables on the baking sheet until the jam is well-distributed, then give them a final 10 minutes in the oven). And it’s amazing in grilled cheese; I made a panini with mozzarella and cooked bacon and a layer of jam. My husband liked it so much, he showed it off to his colleague during a zoom meeting.
Recently, I made candied bacon (me with the bacon again), which made me think that this jam would take that concept to the next level. I spread a light layer of the jam on some thin-sliced bacon and baked the slices on a wire rack set in a baking sheet at 375°F for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon became crispy and the jam had caramelized. Wow! Eat it straight up and, if there’s any remaining, consider crumbling the bacon into a fabulous chopped salad.
Do you have a favorite small-batch jam? Tell us about it in the comments below!