Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pickled Farm-Stand Tomatoes with Jalapeños

Growing up my parents had this huge Sub Zero fridge, and when my young, weak arms managed to pry the beast open, it was always full...of condiments...nothing but jars and more jars of condiments and pickles.  There was never anything to put the condiments on...just condiments.  I suppose we could have snacked on pickles, pickled herring or pickled beets.  Or how about a pickled egg smeared with any kind of mustard you could imagine.  No, not so much.  My Mom would always manage to whip up great meals for us, I don't know how or with what, but for us kids we could never see beyond the condiments.
As my tastes mature and my cooking skills improve, I can see beyond the condiments.  I too can whip up a meal with seemingly nothing.  But I am also realizing the importance and merit of condiments, I'm learning to appreciate them and devoting serious fridge real estate to them.  I've even started making my own jars of meal enhancers.  BBQ sauces, mustards, pickles and this new one...kind of a cross breed between a pickle, a relish, a chutney and a salsa.  The ultimate condiment.  Pickled Farm-Stand Tomatoes with Jalapeños.

Pickled Farm-Stand Tomatoes with Jalapeños
Origin, Brian McBride, Food and Wine

Notes:  I've made this twice now, and the second time I used less oil than the recipe calls for.  I liked this change, the tomatoes are less oily and have a slightly stronger vinegar flavour.  I used a variety of cherry/grape tomatoes for this batch and found that they held up better than the slices of tomatoes that I used the first time.  Either way it's a fabulous addition to the fridge.


1 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used less than 3/4 cup of 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 (I used 6 cups cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced in half)
4 scallions, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
2 jalapeños, thinly sliced into rings and seeded (I did not seed the jalapeño slices)

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 jalapeños. 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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