Plum-Wine Marinated Tomatoes
This is a dish that I see in every blog post on famous sushi bars in Taiwan. It is usually served as an appetizer (using cherry or grape tomatoes) or as a dessert (using large tomatoes). The tomatoes are peeled and marinated for several days in a plum-infused wine syrup. I served it as a palate cleansing course at my summer party. I turned the marinade into a granita, and served the tomatoes on top of that. This is best when the tomatoes are at the peak production time during the summer.
Recipe: Plum-Wine Marinated Tomatoes (酒釀番茄, 漬番茄)
2 pints cherry tomatoes
6 Chinese preserved plums (話梅)
1 cup water
6-8 Tbsp of sugar (can be less if you prefer)
1 whole clove
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorn
1 cup of white wine or Rose (although some people use Cabernet)
Iced water bath
1. Lightly score the tomatoes at the bottom end with a paring knife. Take care to cut into the flesh as little as possible. The idea is just to pierce the skin about 1/2" long.
2. Blanch the tomatoes in small batches in boiling water for 30 seconds. Fish them out and plunge them into an ice water bath. Wait until cool and carefully remove all the skin
3. Place water, sugar, plums, clove, and peppercorns in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the flame and add the wine.
4. Use a tupperware, combine the tomatoes and the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 3 days before serving.
*To make the granita from the marinade
Strain out the spices and place the liquid in a baking pan (like a 8x13" casserole pan). Place in the freezer. Every 30 minutes take out the pan and scrape the frozen bits with a fork. After about 3-4 hours this should be fairly all frozen and scraped up into bits. Place in a tupperware and store in the freezer until ready to serve. This keeps only for about 1-2 days. The granita will start to clump to each other over time and become not as fluffy.