The next time your dinner guests ask what's on the menu, letting the words "tomato concasse" roll off the tongue may seem a little self-indulgent. But your invitees never need to know how simple this garnish really is. A close cousin to marinara sauce, concasse is a bit more refined. It begins by removing the tomato skins (remember what we said about blanching?), and then cutting the orbs through their equators and gently squeezing out the seeds. Then, dice what's left and add it to garlic and olive oil that you've heated over a low flame. Top with basil and parsley and let the mixture cook a few minutes to allow the tomato juices to release. With that, you're done with this complicated-sounding garnish. It's versatile enough to pair with many kinds of vegetables or main dishes, and sophisticated enough to serve company.
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The U.S. banned the gooseberry in the early 1900s because it contributed to white pine blister rust disease. But few states outlaw it anymore, so eat up!