As you are reading this Taylor and I are off gallivanting in the Italian countryside, eating our way through the country. So please forgive me if I don’t respond to your comments/emails right away, since we are indeed computer-less (and smartphone-less, email-less, and twitter-less – oh the horror!) But we’ll be back soon with a full report of our trip! In the meantime, enjoy!
I think it’s about time I did another garden update. Obviously by my lack of posting about it you may have inferred that it was not as successful as I had hoped. While it started out strong, our poor green zebra tomato couldn’t get over its bout with blossom end rot; I think we got one underdeveloped, overly acidic tomato out of it. The cherry tomato plant, on the other hand, did produce a few small handfuls of what just might be the tiniest tomatoes I’ve ever seen. You can see in the dish just how small they are compared to the normal size yellow tomatoes, and these aren’t even the smallest of them (they seemed to get smaller and smaller as the season went on… I mean seriously, if the tomato is only as big as a pea, what good is it, really?) Useful? Not really. But it’s proof that I actually grew something.
And what exactly do you do with half a dozen tiny tomatoes? Well, usually you have to supplement them with some more cherry tomatoes to make anything remotely interesting. Like this dish, which highlights the tart sweetness of the cherry tomatoes beautifully. We’ve done something similar before with fish, the tomato and olive make for a bright and acidic contrast to the tender meat. But frankly, I think I’d like ripe tomatoes and olives on top of just about anything, and indeed, this relish could be used on just about anything, from fish to fowl, beef to bruschetta.
You know what makes a perfect side dish for a summertime steak? Green beans. Three of them. That is, if you’re like me, and didn’t realize that one green bean plant wouldn’t exactly produce the quantity of beans needed for an actual side dish. I got maybe a dozen beans out of it, three at a time. But those three beans were quite delicious, and might give the pint-sized tomatoes a run for their money. Unless of course our single Hungarian hot pepper (which decided to finally make a baby pepper last week after continuously dropping flowers all summer long) puts them all to shame, but that’s a lot to ask of one pepper. Obviously, I have a lot to learn about gardening. Next year?
2 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
1 garlic clove, chopped
3/4 pound multi-colored cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
6 tablespoons coarsely chopped kalamata olives
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 1/4 teaspoons finely chopped pickled jalapeño chiles
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
3 1 1/2-inch-thick rib-eye steaks (each about 1 pound)
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and garlic on work surface. Using flat side of knife blade, smash garlic and salt together until paste forms. Transfer garlic paste to medium bowl. Add orange and yellow tomatoes, olives, cilantro, 3 tablespoons olive oil, capers, lime juice, chopped jalapeño chiles, and dried oregano; toss relish to blend well. Season relish to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Sprinkle steaks on both sides with cumin, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and 2 teaspoons coarse salt. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large skillet over high heat until very hot, about 2 minutes. Add steaks. Sear steaks until browned and cooked to medium-rare, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.
Thinly slice steaks crosswise. Overlap slices on plates. Serve with relish.