Heirloom Tomatoes with Citrus Salsa and Pickled Jalapeno

As summer winds down and the season’s harvest of delectable tomatoes comes to a close, I managed to snag a few remaining heirloom tomatoes from the produce stand down the street this week and created this gorgeous masterpiece. It was so visually stunning when I prepared it, I hesitated eating it.

The tomato is a variety called a Lime Green Salad and this was the first time I’d seen it. The fruit is only 3 to 4 ounces in size, yet they literally burst with intricate, sweet refreshing citrusy flavor when you bite into them. So, of course, it was the perfect match for the sweet acidity of the citrus salsa and the spiciness from the pickled jalapeno.


4 ripened heirloom Lime Green Salad tomatoes

For the pickled jalapenos:
3 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced and seeded
3 red Serrano peppers, thinly sliced and seeded
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the citrus salsa:
1 grapefruit
1 navel orange
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of one lemon


For the pickled jalapenos:
1) Combine the red wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, sugar, seeds, peppercorns and a teaspoon of salt in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil until the sugar and salt have dissolved.

2) Remove the pan from the heat and allow the pickling liquid to cool thoroughly.

3) Place the peppers in a glass jar, and pour the pickling liquid into the jar until the peppers are submerged. Seal the jar tightly and place it in the refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours.

For the citrus salsa:
1) Remove peel and pith from the grapefruit and the orange using a sharp paring knife.

2) Working over a bowl to catch the juices, carefully segment the fruit, cutting between membranes. Squeeze any remaining juice into the bowl.

3) Chop the fruit segments into 1/4-inch pieces and return them to the bowl with the extracted juice.

4) Stir in the chopped garlic, red onion, olive oil, and lemon juice, and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Allow the flavors of the salsa to blend at room temperature for 15 minutes.

5) To serve, slice the heirloom tomatoes into 8 sections about 1/2-inch up from the bottom. Spread out the tomato like petals of a flower as shown in the picture. Spoon the salsa in the center of the tomato, followed by a slice of the pickled jalapeno. Season the dish with salt and pepper to taste.

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