We used to make a grapefruit, onion, and lovage relish. We made a dark caramel and added minced onions and ruby grapefruit segments and slowly cooked the ingredients into a rich relish. A sachet of lovage infused everything with a cleansing, bitter celery note. We paired this relish with a watermelon cube, lime salt and balsamic syrup as an amusebouche when we were in Maine.
Several months ago we dined at wd-50 and were served a hamachi tartare with a grapefruit-shallot condiment. This condiment had a clarity and unique balance which struck a chord. Its color and brightness seemed to be a more refined version of the relish we conjured up years ago. There was also no accent of lovage, though why would there be, these condiments were created by two different individuals with different palates and goals for the end composition.
After enjoying the grapefruit-shallot condiment I was re-inspired by the combination of allium and acidity. I started looking at possibilities. One idea which has continued to capture my attention is the combination of passion fruit and onions. We borrowed theories from our initial relish and from the one we experienced more recently and cooked onions down in passion fruit juice. A pinch of salt and a slow reduction yielded an incredibly decadent passion fruit and onion relish.
We paired this bold condiment with a seared scallop and a schmear of our brown butter puree. It is amazing the true luxury of tastes that develop when combining a few simple ingredients.