Escabèche-Style Marinated Tomatoes

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A side of marinated tomatoes takes any Southern summer meal over the top.

Escabèche-Style Marinated Tomatoes
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
20 mins
Marinate Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
Servings:
6

We'd argue that, in the South, tomato season is almost as highly anticipated as football season. We keep our eyes peeled at the summer farmers' markets for the first baskets of heirlooms, though the season really ramps into full swing in the late summer.

When you have a basket full of beautiful tomatoes, we're of the belief that little needs to be done to let the tomatoes shine. In this recipe for Escabèche-Style Marinated Tomatoes, a simple marinade draws out the natural sweetness of ripe red heirloom tomatoes, while also infusing them with a touch of acid and spice.

Escabèche is typically a meat or vegetable that is marinated in a blend of vinegar, peppers, onions, and spices. Tomatoes get a similar treatment in this recipe, which softens them and makes them extra juicy. Apple cider vinegar forms the base of this marinade, spiced with coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, bay leaves, and a Fresno chile.

Serve with bread to soak up the marinade.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds firm, ripe red heirloom tomatoes (about 3 large), cored and cut into ½-inch-thick slices

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns

  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 1 small red Fresno chile, thinly sliced

  • 6 medium garlic cloves, smashed

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions

  1. Arrange tomato slices, slightly overlapping, in a rimmed baking or serving dish. Sprinkle with 1¼ teaspoons of the salt. Set aside.

  2. Toast coriander, cumin, and peppercorns in a small saucepan over medium, stirring often, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add oil, onion, bell pepper, Fresno chile, garlic, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in vinegar, oregano, sugar, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring often to dissolve sugar. Pour hot mixture over tomatoes. Marinate at room temperature at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. Marinated tomatoes can be covered and chilled up to overnight.

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