As another tomato season draws to a close, I find myself searching for recipes that make the most of what’s left. Late season tomatoes might not glow as brightly as those picked at its height, but they still have the power to pull together a dish and make summer last a little longer even when the evenings get darker. fresh.
One of my favorite ways to use tomatoes is this marinated mussel and tomato salad. Inspired by my love of seafood and salads, it is a summer staple for me and the star of many picnics with friends. I like working with seasonal ingredients and playing on their strengths with the right mix of acidity, spices and textures, which I do here with the help of habanero chili, arbol chili and smoked paprika. , all of which add depth and dimension to the two star ingredients (especially if you’re marinating the mussels overnight). Meanwhile, a pickling liquid based on sherry vinegar increases their volume a notch.
This dish, like so many others, is how I show people I love that I care about them and that they deserve to eat something good. A friend recently told me that eating it made them feel transported to a small coastal beach town – that’s how I knew it worked. So make the most of the tomatoes that are left over, and as winter approaches, keep your memories of the season – and your friends – close.
Marinated mussels and tomato salad
For 4 people
For the pickling liquid:
½ cup of water
½ cup of sherry vinegar
1 habanero pepper, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
For the mussels and the salad:
2 large tomatoes
1 pound of mussels
1/2 cup of vodka or white wine
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of árbol chili, coarsely ground
1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
Step 1: In a grill or oven preheated to 500 degrees, place 1 tomato on a baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the tomato occasionally until its outer skin turns black.
2nd step: To prepare the pickling liquid, place half of the habanero pepper in a small saucepan with the water, sherry vinegar and coriander seeds. Bring to a rapid boil, then immediately remove from heat. Set aside, allowing the habanero and cilantro seeds time to soak and add more flavor to the pickling liquid as you clean and cook the mussels. Let the liquid cool completely.
Step 3: Rinse the mussels well in cold water and remove their barbs. Place mussels, vodka or wine, and half the garlic in a 12-inch stainless steel sauté pan. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until the mussels open and their liquid (called liquor) has been released. Discard any mussels that have not opened. Remove the mussels from their shells and transfer them to a small, non-reactive bowl, leaving the cooking liquid in the pot. Mix the mussels with the lemon juice, shallots, arbol chili, a pinch of kosher salt and the completely cooled marinade liquid. Put aside. You can prepare the mussels and let them marinate overnight, covered, in the refrigerator, if you wish.
Step 4: Add the black pepper, two generous pinches of salt and the bay leaves to the sauté pan. Place over medium-high heat and simmer to infuse the spices into the cooking liquid (about 1-2 minutes). Put aside.
Step 5: Take the roasted tomato out of the oven and add it to a blender along with the remaining half of the habanero, remaining garlic, smoked paprika and pan juices, making sure to remove the bay leaves first. Mix until smooth and homogeneous. Pass the mixed sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove any uneven pieces. Let the sauce cool in the refrigerator. You’ll end up with some extra sauce, but it’s worth it for later use in salad dressings or as a condiment.
Step 6: Slice remaining tomato crosswise into ⅛-inch rounds and toss to coat with a dollop of the mixed sauce. Arrange the tomato slices on plates and garnish with mussels and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Finish with chili flakes and kosher salt and serve with bread.
Chef and artist DeVonn Francis is the creator of Yardy World, a hospitality business that uses food to authentically interact with people, their stories and identities.
Dina avila is a photographer in Portland, Oregon
Tested by Ivy Manning