Gourmet (July 2009)
There's an age-old debate about whether tomatoes are fruit or vegetables. By botanical definition, a tomato is a fruit, but to cooks (and the Supreme Court!), it certainly walks and talks like a vegetable.
We're not going to wade into the debate.
All we know is that tomatoes taste unexpectedly delicious with peaches.
In the summer, we love cooking
with fresh fruits, and we love cooking with fresh vegetables. But we hardly ever mix the two. We just don't think to do it.
But with juicy, ripe peaches in our fridge and gorgeous tomatoes sitting on our counter, we just had to try this Tomato-Peach compote.
You'll be amazed at how quickly this dish comes together.
The rub for the pork is a wonderful mix of garlic, fresh ginger and curry. The recipe says that you need a mortar and pestle to make a paste of these ingredients, but we don't have one, so we just minced everything very finely.
Because we're trying to use our oven as little as possible in the July heat, we opted to do the pork on the grill.
While the pork was cooking, we made the compote: a simple mix of chopped onions, tomatoes, peaches, sugar and thyme. The ingredients are only cooked until soft, which doesn't take long.
The grilled pork -- topped with the sweet, summery compote -- was outstanding. So outstanding, in fact, that the two of us all ate all four (or...um...six) servings. The earthy spice of the curry makes a fantastic foundation for the savory-sweet tomatoes and peaches.
So is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable? We say, when it tastes this good, who cares?
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
Active time: 20 min
Total time: 40 min
* 4 garlic cloves
* 1 tablespoon chopped peeled ginger
* 1 teaspoon curry powder
* 2 (3/4-pound) pork tenderloins
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 3/4 pound tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 1 peach, chopped
* 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
* 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
* Equipment: a mortar and pestle
Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.
Mash garlic, ginger, curry powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to a paste using mortar and pestle. Rub all over pork.
Heat oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown pork on one side, about 5 minutes, then turn over and transfer skillet to oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 145 to 150°F for juicy meat, 10 to 12 minutes. Let pork rest, uncovered, on a cutting board while making compote.
Add onion to skillet (handle will be very hot) and sauté over medium-high heat until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes and peach and sauté until just softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in thyme and, if desired, sugar.
Slice pork and serve with compote.