Marinated Tomatoes with Compressed Cucumber & Red Onion Relish

Marinated Tomatoes with Compressed Cucumber & Red Onion Relish

Marinated Tomatoes with Compressed Cucumber & Red Onion Relish

Changing gears a bit, but not quite, here is another Thomas Keller recipe. We served this tasty little salad/appetizer with Asian Inspired Red Snapper with Coconut Rice. It’s a very lovely dish.

As you have noticed, I have been working on the sous vide technique. Now, to many, sous vide means cooking foods very low and very slow in vacuum sealed pouches in a temperature controlled water bath. Chicken Sous Vide with Sun Dried Tomato, Roasted Poblano & Mint Chutney is an example of this type of sous vide technique. While sous vide technique does encompass this type of cooking, sous vide is more than that. Sous vide simply means under pressure. It’s a means by which foods, for a variety of reasons, are put under pressure. In the post Faux Steak Tartare: Compressed Watermelon with Mango Yolk, through the use of sous vide technique, we compressed a slice of watermelon so that it would dice and resemble diced sirloin in Steak Tartare. Compressing the watermelon slice also changed the texture of the watermelon giving it a slightly firmer, “meatier” texture. It was quite unusual. In this post, we are infusing tomatoes with sugar and basil through the use of sous vide technique and compressing cucumber to alter its texture. This makes a very pretty presentation while providing a flavor extravaganza. It’s a very interesting approach to an appetizer. If you have a vacuum sealer and want to try something new, give this a try.

Ingredients

For the Red Onion Relish

  • 100 grams red onions, small dice
  • 23 grams granulated sugar
  • 125 grams water
  • 12 grams red wine vinegar
  • 1 English cucumber

For the Tomatoes

  • 25 grams basil, roughly chopped
  • 140 grams water
  • 140 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 pint various small tomatoes, i.e. cherub, cherry, toy box, etc., peeled

Instruction

For the Red Onion Relish

Combine the onion, sugar and water in a saucepan.

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Bring to a simmer and cook for roughly 15 minutes. The onions should be tender. Add the red wine vinegar and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until there is very little liquid remaining.

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Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place in a small bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Peel and cut the cucumber into 3 inch lengths. Trim away the sides to make a rectangle. Now cut into rectangles 3 inches long by 1/8 inch thick all the way to the seeds. Throw away seed core. Take these rectangles and cut into further rectangles.

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Place in a vacuum bag and vacuum seal on high pressure.

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Refrigerate overnight.

For the Tomatoes

Combine the chopped basil, sugar and water in a saucepan.

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Bring to a simmer stirring to dissolve the sugar. Chill over an ice bath, whisking until cold.

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Strain

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Place the tomatoes in a vacuum seal bag. Pour the basil marinade over the tomatoes to cover.

You will probably have excess marinade. Vacuum seal on high pressure and refrigerate overnight.

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To Serve

Mix the cucumber and onion together.

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Drain the tomatoes and toss with a little olive oil and some small basil leaves.

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Place a bed of red onion compressed cucumber relish on a plate.

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Arrange the tomatoes on top.

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Serve with a nice piece of buttered brioche & enjoy!

Marinated Tomatoes with Compressed Cucumber & Red Onion Relish

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15 thoughts on “Marinated Tomatoes with Compressed Cucumber & Red Onion Relish”

    1. Hi, Alice. Thanks for the nice comment. 🙂 The tomatoes were enjoyable and the recipe was intriguing. It produces a sweeter tomato salad than I personally prefer but the buttered bread mellows the sweetness.

  1. The flavors must be so intense, I can picture myself eating tomatoes straight from the bag. Can you dunk the tomatoes in boiling water to make the peeling easier or will that change the texture/flavor too much?

  2. This is such a beautiful, appetizing dish, Richard. Although I’ll be sure to try the onion relish, I think I’ll leave the marinated tomatoes to your more skilled hands. Just let me know when dinner is served and I’ll bring a nice wine. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the nice compliment, John. We usually serve dinner around 6:00 pm. Call when you get to DFW and we’ll give you directions. Don’t worry about the wine because TSA won’t let you carry it on and we have a rather extensive selection. 😉

  3. Looks so elegant! We’ve been experimenting with fruit in the vacuum bags at school, but must say its nowhere as involved as this. I love the transparency that the fruit or veg take on once compressed. Certainly makes for pretty colours as your dish highlights too.

    1. Hi, Alice! Thanks for your nice compliment. I’m glad you liked it. I thought the colors and flavors were very nice but the tomatoes were a tad bit to sweet for me. I think the manner of treating the tomatoes would make for a stupendous for a tomato sorbet or granita. 🙂

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