When you think you’re running out of new ways to serve tomatoes, consider wasabi mascarpone? Really? That may seem like an odd combination, but wait till you taste it. The creaminess of the mildly flavored mascarpone and the clear-your-nose sharpness of the wasabi balance incredibly well with the tomatoes. I’d have never thought of this somewhat strange combination. Leave it to Yotam Ottolenghi; he always finds some unusual combinations that surprise and intrigue. I found this recipe on his site and in Nopi.
“This is all about the tomatoes…. They also look great if they are not cut in uniform fashion; small tomatoes should be halved while larger ones should be cut into wedges or sliced.”
This dish is a celebration of the abundance of summer tomatoes. I found these mini heirloom tomatoes: red, green, yellow and orange at Trader Joe’s. They sell multi-color heirloom tomatoes only for a few weeks in the summer. Whenever I see them in the store, I’d load them up. These tomatoes light up the dish adding bright colors, variety and zing.
The wasabi mascarpone brings another dimension to the tomatoes. Tomatoes enhance the rich and creamy sweetness in the mascarpone. Not something I’ve expected. Meanwhile, the sharpness of wasabi is well controlled. I’ll add more wasabi next time just to kick it up a notch and see how far it can go.
The dish is easy to put together. Ingredients list may be long, but there are only three steps involved.
Every components, including the wasabi and herb-filled mascarpone, the pickled shallots, roasted pine nuts and the chopped tomatoes, can be made ahead.
Besides tomatoes, the cream spread pairs well with other proteins like smoked salmon, meat and eggs, if you need a more substantial dish. It can readily go from a side to a luncheon or dinner dish. A real keeper for its remarkable taste with tomatoes and versatility used with other proteins.
I’m linking this post to IHCC where you’ll find more ways to put seasonal fresh tomatoes in your everyday dishes at this time of the year.
Tomatoes with Wasabi Mascarpone and Pine NutsPrint Recipe
- 9 oz/250 g mascarpone
- 1 tbsp wasabi paste
- 1/3 oz/10 g chives, finely chopped
- 1/3 oz/10 g tarragon, finely chopped
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced (20g)
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced widthwise (100g)
- 2 tbsp Pedro Ximénez sherry vinegar (or another good-quality sweet sherry vinegar)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/2 lb/1 kg mixed tomatoes, cut into a mixture of slices and wedges, 1/3 inch/1 cm thick
- 3/4 oz/20 g pine nuts, toasted
- 1/5 oz/5 g mixed basil leaves (plain, purple and micro-basil) or just plain basil, to garnish
- coarse sea salt and black pepper
Make the cheese spread: Place the mascarpone, wasabi, chives, tarragon and spring onion in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Pickle the shallots: Place the shallots in a separate bowl with the sweet vinegar, oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix well and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Plate the tomatoes: To serve, divide the mascarpone between the plates and spread it out to form a thin layer. Place the tomatoes on top, followed by the pickled shallots. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, then scatter over the basil leaves, tearing the larger ones as you go. Season with 1/3 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, and serve.
Adapted from Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully