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Chef Craig Von Foerster of Sierra Mar restaurant at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur won the Sunset Gold award at the 2008 Carmel TomatoFest in California for his intensely flavored interpretation of the classic summer soup.
- 2 1⁄2 lbs ripe yellow tomatoes, cored, quartered
- 3⁄4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons finely shredded lime zest (or 5 kaffir lime leaves)
- 2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
- 1 cup peeled half-ripe papaya, 1/4 inch dice (or green )
- 1⁄2 English cucumber, peeled, 1/4 inch dice
- 1⁄4 cup minced red onion
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (or galangal )
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaf
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped Thai basil (or regular basil leaves)
- 1⁄2-1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- Thai fish sauce (or Vietnamese, or kosher salt)
- In a food processor, pulse 1/3 of tomatoes at a time until finely chopped. Pour into a bowl.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine vinegar, lime zest, and lemongrass. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and stir into tomato mixture.
- Chill about 2 hours to blend flavors.
- Press mixture through a coarse strainer into another bowl and discard contents of strainer.
- Stir remaining ingredients into tomato mixture, adding Sriracha and fish sauce(or salt) to taste. Chill until cold and flavors are blended, at least 30 minutes and as long as overnight.