The heat of August summers bring Missouri an abundance of fresh tomatoes. Create this relish and serve over chicken, beef, fish, vegetables, or toasted bread. This list goes on and on. Leave it to say, this dish is very versatile and easy to make.

Photos by Harry Katz


Recipe from Chef Daniel Pliska


5 slicing tomatoes, washed
1/4 cup shallots, finely diced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Photos by Harry Katz


1. Blanch the tomatoes. To do so, start by bringing 1 gallon water to boil in a large pot. Slice a shallow X in the bottom of each tomato, and gently immerse them in the boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds. Place them immediately in a large bowl of ice water.

2. Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, use a knife or your fingers to peel the skin.

3. Cut the tomatoes in half across the equator, and use a spoon or knife to remove the seeds.

4. Place the tomatoes in a smoker, and infuse with indirect smoke from wood chips for 10 minutes.

5. Remove the tomatoes from the smoker, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to cool to room temperature.

6. In a large bowl, combine shallots, black pepper, sugar, basil, salt, and balsamic vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil.

7. Dice the tomatoes, and mix with the herb vinaigrette.

8. Serve with grilled steak or chicken.

Makes 2 1/2 cups

Article originally published in the August 2017 of Missouri Life.