Tomato & Grapefruit Salsa

I was looking for a chutney recipe in my magazine recipe collection, when this one fell into my hands. It’s from a German magazine – Living At Home – and I wasn’t even aware I had this on file, but the ingredients immediately spoke to me, so I made this tomato & grapefruit salsa instead of the planned chutney.

Altough this recipe contains star anise, which I’m not too keen on, everything else sounded like a great mix. I found that you can actually taste the star anise, but it’s not overwhelming. To someone who absolutely abhors it, I would suggest leaving it out as the cinnamon stick gives this salsa enough of an interesting touch.

The cooking time for this recipe is only about 30 minutes, then about another 30 minutes cooling time, so not a lot. However, although I didn’t look at the clock, all the prepping/chopping takes quite a bit of time, I would say a good half hour.

It’s well worth the time spent, though! I really liked the cooking smells emanating from the pot, and the first taste had me talking to myself… “Ooooh, I really like it!” It’s fresh, it’s citrusy, the spices and the basil add an unusual touch (even I wouldn’t have thought of mixing star anise and cinnamon with basil!), and it’s versatile. The magazine suggests serving it with bread and cheese, or as a pasta sauce (heated up for a few minutes).

I decided to roast some bread, sprinkle it with a mild goat’s cheese, and top with the salsa. Delicious! Definitely something I would serve guests as a starter, and also a great condiment for grilled meat.

Note: After a day in the fridge, the colour of the salsa turned a lot darker.

Tomato & Grapefruit Salsa

  • Servings: makes approx. 1.3 l
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800 g tomatoes
2 grapefruits
200 g shallots
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla powder
50 g sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 tbsp tomato purée
6 stems basil
2 tbsp olive oil
clean jars

Wash tomatoes and remove stems. Finely chop half of the tomatoes and set aside. Halve and deseed the remaining tomaotes, and chop the flesh only. Keep the two separate.

Halve one grapefruit and juice – you will need 100 ml juice. Peel the second grapefruit, removing all the white skin as well, then filet and finely chop.

Peel and finely chop the shallots. If using a vanilla bean, halve it and scrape out the seeds.

In a non-stick pot, melt the sugar until golden brown, then add the shallots and grapefruit juice. Stir well, then add the first half of the chopped tomatoes, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean and seeds (or vanilla powder), tomato purée and 3 basil stems. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring several times, until the mixture has thickened. After 10 minutes, remove the star anise, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and basil.

Stir in the remaining diced tomatoes and grapefruit, bring to boil and let cook for a few minutes. Remove pot from heat and let the mixture cool.

Finely chop the remaining 3 basil stalks, then stir it into the salsa with the olive oil.

Ladle the salsa into clean jars, seal well, and store in the fridge. [I always time my dishwasher to have the jars cleaned and still hot when anything I preserve is ready to can.]

Serve the salsa with (roasted) bread, cheeses, or heat it quickly and use as pasta sauce.

Note: After a day in the fridge, the colour of the salsa turned a lot darker.