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CARLA HALL Tomato Jam and Johnnycakes

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2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (quartered lengthwise)
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
3 cloves garlic (peeled and sliced)
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
scallions (to garnish)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
3 tablespoons butter (melted)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
canola oil (for frying)

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. In a large sheet of foil place tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, garlic, chili flakes and drizzle with olive oil. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pinch foil together to form a packet and place on the grill. Allow to cook until tomatoes are tender and skin has blistered, about 8-10 minutes.
Remove from the grill, allow to cool for 5 minutes. Preheat saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove the skins of the tomatoes over a large bowl to collect any juices. Discard skins and place tomatoes and juice in medium saucepan. Add sugar and stir tomatoes with a wooden spoon, mashing tomatoes occasionally while stirring. Allow to cook down until thick in consistency, about 40-45 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in apple cider vinegar and discard the thyme and garlic. Place in mason jar and allow to cool completely. Spread on Johnnycakes.
Place scallions on the grill and cook until slightly tender but charred on both sides, about 4 minutes. Remove and thinly slice on a bias. Garnish on top of Johnnycakes with tomato jam.
For the Johnnycakes: in a large bowl add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda and whisk to combine. Add eggs, butter and buttermilk and mix to combine.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of canola oil. Drop batter in 1/3 cup increments around the pan. Allow batter to sizzle and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and allow the other side to cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove to a paper towel and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.
Tip: make the tomato jam ahead of time! Serve with eggs, toast, rice, or as a condiment on a sandwich or burger!

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