Balsamic Onion & Roasted Garlic Jam

Garlic Onion Jam 1

I can. not. stop. eating stacks of crackers with aged white cheddar and spoonfuls of roasted garlic jam. Would you? Could you? Especially when there’s a stack and a jar beside your laptop and you’re tangled in a blanket, unable to run away from its sweet-sour-tangy-salty-garlicky charms?

When it’s made almost entirely of vegetables, jam totally counts as dinner, right?


If garlic had a season, it would be now. I love the purple-skinned, sticky and intense local garlic that can be found this time of year – nothing like the dry, papery stuff that comes from China. The fall is the best time to plant it, too – take a few cloves from a great head of garlic and poke them into the ground. That green sprout that emerges from a clove if you’ve left it too long in the cupboard is the plant starting to grow. Next spring you’ll have garlic scapes, and if you time things right, a supply of beautiful garlic throughout summer and into fall, when it’s time to save a few cloves to plant again. And when it’s as good as it gets, garlic is just as worthy of being preserved as berries and stone fruits.

Roasted Garlic 2

Even if you don’t make jam, everyone should know how to roast a head of garlic. It’s something you can do any time the oven is on – when you’re roasting a chicken, for example, or baking a lasagna, you can wrap a few heads of garlic, their tops sheared off and drizzled with oil, and pop them into the oven, directly on the oven rack, for 45 minutes to an hour, until they’re soft and dark enough to squeeze out of their skins. You needn’t use it right away; keep the heads in their foil in the fridge to spread on sandwiches or squeeze into vinaigrettes or mashed potatoes.

And if jam is your preferred vehicle, start by squeezing plenty into a pan of caramelizing onions.

Garlic Onion Jam 3

Making a big pot of it now (this recipe is easily doubled, tripled or quadrupled) will set you up for cheese platters and grilled cheese sandwiches throughout the fall, and you’ll be set up with jars of a little something special to grab off the shelf and bring to a party. Sharing is good.

Garlic Onion Jam 2




Balsamic Onion & Roasted Garlic Jam

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31 comments on “Balsamic Onion & Roasted Garlic Jam

  1. Sharon @ Red Poppy | Pink Peony
    October 1, 2013 at 8:13 am

    This looks amazing! When I was younger, I didn’t think I liked onions, but it turned out I just didn’t like them raw. When they’re caramelized or in jam form, they are so delicious!

  2. CathyH
    October 1, 2013 at 8:24 am

    This sounds amazing! My Dad used to plant rows of garlic, braid it and hang it in the basement to use all winter.

  3. Laurie from Richmond
    October 1, 2013 at 9:40 am

    This looks so good! My salivary glands are working overtime!
    I must make this and keep it in the fridge.
    Yum yum


  4. jake
    October 1, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Thnx Julie, great timing! That looks so good, and good aged cheddar is a dream food – nothing better. I agree, the purple tinged, sticky, juicy/oily, local hardneck garlic is soooo much better than the China grown imported stuff.

    I set up my garlic plots on the weekend, hopefully planting in the next few days. A small 1 meter x 1 meter plot, framed with scrap lumber is enough space for at 48-64 garlic plants. I’m doing three little patches year, it’s impossible to grow too much garlic. At $3 (worth every cent) a bulb at the farmers’ market it’s worth growing at home. At that price, in two seasons i’ve grown $450 worth of garlic from an $18 dollar investment. Even more saved/earned (another $450) this year. Once you have a patch you reserve some for replanting every year, so you only need to buy it once. Plus summertime scapes for pesto, stir fries, pizza, etc.

    A bit of weeding and water, but basically no care required once planted. Pull up in late august, cure indoors (out of the sun) for a couple of weeks, trim and store at cool room temp. They will last almost a year. With our local frost cycles it’s better to plant them deeper than you would think, at least 6″ deep. A bit of mulch over the winter is a good idea too. I mulched with cut down dried lavender plants last year and ended up with lots of free lavender seedlings among the garlic – a bonus.

    I wish i had a good homemade cracker recipe….


  5. Susannah
    October 1, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Thank you!!! This looks very much like a product i have been buying from Stonewall Kitchen. For over 15 years I have been stocking up when I’m in the States as I cant find it locally . Going to try this on the weekend 🙂

    • Carolyn
      May 23, 2020 at 3:15 pm

      It is almost as good. I sought out a recipe because I’m in isolation due to Corona virus and can’t get to Bed, Nath, and Beyond where I usually purchase the Stonewall Kitchen brand with a 20% off coupon.
      I cut the recipe in half to try it. It was gone in a day. I ate it right after it cooled, but it was better after a few hours of refrigeration. I’d forgotten how wonderful roasted garlic is, as well. I’m making another batch (big batch) soon.

  6. Robyn
    October 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    totally making this on the weekend! oooh also think it would be so good spread on pizza dough with crumbled goat cheese overtop!

  7. Folly
    October 2, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Yum! Can this recipe be safely preserved by canning in a water bath? It would be great to put up a shelf full for Christmas gifts.

    • Anne
      July 21, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      Yes! I was wondering the same. You mentioned pulling it off a shelf in the post. Is it safe to water boil and can this?

    • Susan M Edwards
      September 8, 2019 at 7:15 pm

      Can it be water bathed canned? if so, for how long for 1/2 pints?

  8. molly
    October 2, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    right! TOTALLY counts. on my way over, so you don’t have to plow through all by your lonesome…

  9. Diane
    October 3, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Julie! Do you have a list of “must go to” eats in Calgary? I am going to a new place in the city every week (as part of my 40th birthday to do list) and cafes/delis/restaurants are a big part of it. Any suggestions? I have lived in the city for 7 years but have hardly been anywhere! Have been to Lina’s, Edelweiss, and Soffrito in the past week. Delish!

  10. Paula
    October 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    I have been looking for a garlic jam or jelly recipe and I haven’t found that even comes close to this – can’t wait to try it!

    Can the jam be safely processes in a boiling water bath and if so would you recommend any changes to the recipe?

    Thanks Julie!

    • Julie
      October 7, 2013 at 7:42 am

      Paula – to be honest, I’m not sure if it would need changing to process for long-term storage – I’d refer to the Bernardin page (http://www.bernardin.ca/) and see if they have anything comparable. When in doubt, I store mine in the freezer! The high sugar content of most jams means it doesn’t freeze solid, so it’s quick to thaw.

  11. Claudia
    October 13, 2013 at 9:24 am

    YUM! I made this last night for a Thanksgiving dinner appie and everyone loved it. I served it with my homemade multi-seed crackers, brie and old cheddar and it was divine. We couldn’t stop eating it!

    Thanks Julie, for another great recipe!

  12. Duls
    March 13, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Julie, could you please let me know the weight of the ingredients especially onion and garlic. I live in Asia so need to find a comparable weight.

    Thanks a ton


  13. Duls
    March 13, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Sorry the above query relates to roasted garlic and onion jam.

  14. larry h
    July 8, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Julie,
    Just to let you know, I made the jam with a couple bunches of fesh garlic scales instead of whole garlic. I love the early season scales an it was awesome. Thought you mighe like to know. Thanks.

  15. Kate Henry
    December 6, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Just a comment on your website. It is virtually unusable. Between the top third of the screen taken up by your “subscribe” banner and then another inch or so taken up with your stationary logo and menu, all that’s left to view your content is less than half my browser screen. Since I’m trying to view the website on a laptop, that’s not much real estate. So, I am just leaving. Looks like it could be an interesting website, just unusable.

  16. Amber
    December 15, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Please can you let me know how much this recipe makes? Thanks.

  17. Jen
    June 16, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Thank you so much for this incredible recipe!! Everyone I know is getting a few jars of this for Christmas!!

  18. Anis Kashani
    September 13, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    This stuff is amazing…don’t limit yourself to appetizers. I’ve come home after vacation with nothing in the house to eat and cooked some dry penne pasta and after draining and returning to the pan, stirred in this jam to heat through and was a fantastic meal in less than 30 minutes, my daughter couldn’t get enough

    • Julie
      September 13, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Ooh, that’s a great idea! I’m totally trying it!

  19. Christine Bresolin
    December 12, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Can you can the jam?

  20. Allison
    October 24, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    I just made this recipe…followed it precisely…and my only complaint is that I didn’t quadruple the ingredients! This jam is BEYOND amazing. Definitely going to become a staple in my house. Put it on a crust with Gorgonzola cheese and wow!!!!! Thank you so much for this recipe. Xoxo

    • Julie
      October 24, 2018 at 10:54 pm

      I’m so glad! And that’s so funny… I just made a batch too!

  21. Kat
    December 15, 2018 at 2:18 am

    Have you tried this without the sugar (or with less sugar) to make it a tad more savory, or would that mess with the consistency too much? I know the balsamic will caramelize, but I don’t know if it would do the trick alone. It looks awesome, though!

    • Julie
      December 17, 2018 at 7:29 pm

      You could definitely give it a try!

  22. Allison
    December 23, 2018 at 9:16 am

    This recipe is to die for! Absolute perfection and super yummy. Thank you!

  23. Sharon
    December 21, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    I made this at Thanksgiving and used it for a topping over baked Brie. The guests would not leave the appetizer table until it was gone. It was devoured!

    • Julie
      December 23, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Amazing! so glad to hear it!!

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