An object of derision among foodies, the supermarket tomato is also a remarkable technological creation. It has been engineered for long shelf life and long-distance travel. The efficiencies that come with its large-scale production in California and Mexico also bring big environmental benefits. Production of California's high-yielding conventional tomatoes requires less land use and GHG emissions than alternatives. Alas, those benefits come at the expense of flavor. But what if we turn its flaws into assets? In this dish, we remove the thick skin and crisp it. The flesh is pressed to emphasize its meatiness. It's served in a classic combination with goat cheese and anchovy.
- 4 salted anchovy filets, bones removed, rinsed of excess salt, finely chopped
- 1 medium shallot, finely minced
- 1 small garlic clove, center sprout removed
- I teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 Roma tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Minus 8 icewine vinegar
- Maldon salt, to finish
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, black pepper, sugar, as needed
Goat cheese mousse
- 1/2 cup plain goat cheese
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the tomatoes, cut a small X in the skin of the bottom of each tomato. Cut out the stem end with the lip of a paring knife. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a full. Boil and prepare an ice bath, as well. Lower the tomatoes into the boiling water and cook them until the skins start to slip off, between 10 and 20 second. Place the tomatoes in the ice bath and allow them to chill for 5 minutes, or until cold. Carefully remove the tomatoes from the ice bath and place them on a paper towel lined sheet pan.
Gently remove the skin in the largest possible pieces and reserve them separately. Cut each tomato in half lengthwise and using a paring knife, a spoon, or both, remove the seeds and gel from inside each tomato piece. Try to keep the pieces as intact as possible. Place all the tomato pieces in a single layer in a vacuum sealer bag. Add the Minus 8 icewine vinegar and seal at maximum pressure. Once sealed, reserve chilled for up to 24 hours.
Take the reserved tomato skins and trim them to uniformly sized pieces, discarding any ragged looking pieces. Brush olive oil on a parchment lined sheet pan and arrange the skins in a single layer, not touching each other. Season with salt and sugar. Brush more olive oil on top of the skins and cover with a second layer of parchment. Cove with a rack and bae at 275 degrees until crispy. Reserve at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 4 hours.
To make the goat cheese mousse, whisk the goat cheese with the buttermilk and olive oil until smooth and uniform. Finely chop the oregano leaves and add them to the mousse. Season with salt and pepper and place into a piping bag and reserve chilled for up to 48 hours.
For the anchovy vinaigrette, combine the anchovies, shallots, garlic, mustard, and vinegar in a bowl. Allow to macerate for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper, as needed. Reserve chilled for up to a week. Note: remove the vinaigrette from the fridge ten minutes before serving, or the extra virgin olive oil will be congealed.