Heritage Tomato Salad

Heritage tomato salad with tomato sorbet and garlic tuile

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Back in the winter of late 2015, after months of hearty stews and root vegetable recipes, I thought forward to the summer and dreamed a tasting menu of seasonal summer produce. I imagined taking a single ingredient for each course, at the peak of its season, and preparing it in a simple, elegant way that would show it off at its very best. With time to plan I reached for the French Laundry cookbook and lit upon a recipe that, with a couple of tweaks, would become this course – the essence and the climax of my Greenmarket tasting menu: the Heritage Tomato Salad.

Heritage tomato salad with tomato sorbet and garlic tuilesIMG_2731

The dish looks its best when the tomatoes are a range of different shapes, sizes and colours. Use the best you can find, but this recipe will enliven average tomatoes too.

For the Tomato Salad

  • Tomatoes, 75-100 grams per person
  • Malden sea salt
  • Dash of red wine vinegar
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Basil or Greek basil to garnish
  • ~1 tsp tomato sorbet (see below)
  • 1-2 garlic tuille (see below)

Just before you’re ready to serve, cut your tomatoes into paper-thin slices or wedges or irregular shapes or all of the above depending on your preference, ability and the shape of the tomatoes. Arrange on a plate, sprinkle with salt, a few drops of red wine vinegar and lightly drizzle with rapeseed oil. Garnish with the basil, tomato sorbet and garlic tuile.

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For the Tomato Sorbet

  • 500g tomatoes (blemished, overripe or ugly ones will do fine)
  • 100 ml dry white wine/prosecco
  • Pinch of cayenne,
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of freshly ground white pepper
  • 1tbsp caster sugar

Blend the tomatoes in a food processor and strain through a fine sieve, squeezing as much liquid out of the pulp as possible. Add all the other ingredients and reduce over a very low heat until reduced by half (45 mins approx). Refrigerate until cold and then churn in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer’s instructions. Sorbet will keep for several weeks, so you can do this well in advance.

For the Garlic Tuile

(Slightly adapted from the French Laundry Cookbook)

  • 80g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp malden salt
  • 55g softened, unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tsp garlic paste (very finely minced garlic)
  • 30g grated parmesan

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or mix in a bowl with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth and without lumps. Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees C (gas mark 3).

On a silicon baking sheet or greaseproof paper place half a spoonful of batter and use the back of a clean teaspoon to spread the mixture into a 4-5cm round. Form additional rounds about 2cm apart and place the baking sheet/paper on to a flat tray and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and lift tuiles off baking sheet with a spatula while still warm and place on a plate until cool. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve (2 days max).IMG_2747

 

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