By David Harbilas
This dish is all about austerity and the ingredients, which is kind of a shame because while oysters seem to be very much of the moment in the cold months tomatoes are, clearly, not about winter.
Yet citrus, oddly enough, is a winter fruit, and what better way to off-set the acid of citrus than with the sweetness of tomatoes?
The entire dish is raw, save the cured tomatoes, which are little more than seasoned tomato filets. Yet the combination of cool, spicy, and sweet is unforgettable.
4-6 oysters, shucked, left in shell
2 plum tomatoes
1 moro orange, or some other variety (such as navel), cut into segments
1 fresh jalepeno
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
juice of Â½ lemon
1 teaspoon of sugar
extra virgin olive oil
Place a small pot of water on the stove to boil. Cut a small X in the bottom of the plum tomatoes and prepare an ice bath. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water and allow to cook for 30 seconds, then immediately plunge into the ice water. With a pairing knife, peel the tomatoes, then cut them cross wise to expose the seeds. Scrape out the seeds with a pairing knife or spoon, then dice the tomato flesh into small dice.
Toss the tomatoes with the kosher salt, pepper and cayenne, and allow to sit for 1 hour. Allow the tomatoes to drain in a sieve. Meanwhile, slice the jalepeno as thinly as possible, preferably on a mandoline. Toss the slices with the lemon juice, sugar and a pinch of kosher salt. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. To serve, place the shucked oysters on a plate, then top with a slice (or two–as many as you like) of the jalepeno, then a small amount of the tomato, and finally one moro orange segment. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve.