Two of summer’s favorite ingredients — tomatoes and striped bass — come together in this delicately delicious crudo from chef Joe Carli. “Tomatoes are in season right now and they are big and beautiful! Head to your local store or farmer’s market and pick out a few different varietals and colors to add some depth to this salad,” said Carli. Pair the plate with your preferred white wine, perhaps a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.
- 5 or 6 mixed heirloom tomatoes
- 1 bunch basil
- Scallions or chives
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 lemons
- 1 pound fresh striped bass (you want the skin! ask your fish guy to skin it and package separately for you)
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
- Take your tomatoes and cut a shallow X in the very bottom, and remove the core from the top. Have a pot of boiling salted water ready and a bowl of ice water next to it. Once your tomatoes are prepped, slowly lower them one by one into the water, working in small batches so the water stays at a boil. They should only be in the water for 30-45 seconds, remove them from the boiling water and transfer directly to the ice water. The skins will begin to peel in the ice water, finish peeling by hand and set the tomatoes aside in a mesh sieve set over a mixing bowl.
- Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and, while working over the colander, gently massage the seeds and liquid into the mesh sieve with your fingers while keeping the tomato halves in tact. The seeds/pulp in the sieve you can discard but reserve the liquid in the bottom bowl for a later use. Dice the tomatoes into small salsa size pieces, then place into a large bowl.
- Cut your basil leaves and the chives into small ribbons keeping them separate.
- Finely grate or chop the garlic and mix half of it into the large bowl with the tomatoes.
- Dice the onion a little smaller than the tomatoes and mix about half into the tomatoes.
- Season the tomato mixture with salt, fresh cracked black pepper, lots of olive oil, basil and chive (or scallion) to taste. Add more onion and garlic if you'd like. Mix the ingredients and place this bowl in the freezer until you are ready to serve, stirring every 10-20 minutes so that it does not freeze solid.
- Take your striper skin and lay on an upside down baking sheet and cover with another pan. Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours, or until it is crispy. Set aside to cool.
- Dice your striper fillet into pieces slightly bigger than the tomatoes being careful not to use the dark bloodline pieces, as they will lend an unpleasant bitter taste to your crudo.
- Mix the fish with some of your reserved tomato water from before, the zest from the lemons and a little of the lemon juice. Season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper, olive oil, more chives and basil.
- Take your striper skin and break it up into small pieces to use as a garnish.
- Spoon the tomato salad into chilled bowls, then arrange some of the stripped bass crudo on top. Garnish with more olive oil and the crispy skin. Enjoy with friends and a nice white wine!