Monday, July 25, 2011

Pickled Farm-Stand Tomatoes with Jalapenos

When I first ran across this recipe, I was intrigued. Of course, seeing tomatoes and jalapenos in the title, I was thinking that this was a new twist on salsa. Looking more closely, however, I saw ginger, turmeric and cumin in the ingredients. And I was even more intrigued. Mixed up a batch and loved the flavor. But then tried to figure out what the heck to do with this soupy, tasty mix.

It was suggested that it would be a good side for a simple grilled steak. The light bulb went about a steak salad? I took a nice piece of flat-iron steak (You could use flank steak just as easily.) and marinated it in a bit of rice wine vinegar and ground coriander to mimic some of the flavors in the tomatoes. Grilled it for a few minutes to just-under-medium-rare. Let it rest for ten minutes and then sliced it thinly against the grain. I put a bed of salad greens on a plate (include a few leaves of basil and cilantro if you have them) and draped some slices of beef over. Then ladled on some of the tomatoes with their juices as a dressing of sorts. Fantastic!

(There's another use for them as well. Leftovers the next night were just as good sopped up with some toasted Italian bread.)

Pickled Farm-Stand Tomatoes with Jalapenos
From Food & Wine magazine.

1 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
6 tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds), each cut into 6 wedges
4 scallions, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
2 jalapeƱos, thinly sliced into rings and seeded

In a medium saucepan, bring the vinegar, brown sugar and salt to a boil, stirring. Remove from the heat.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic, grated ginger, mustard seeds, black pepper, turmeric, ground cumin and cayenne pepper and cook over low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Carefully pour the hot oil into the vinegar mixture.

In a large heatproof bowl, combine the tomatoes, scallions and jalapeƱos. Stir in the hot pickling liquid and let stand at room temperature for 4 hours or refrigerate for 8 hours, then serve.

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