Transform a humble tomato salad into an absolutely stunning dish, using clever tricks to enhance the presentation and flavour of individual ingredients.
It may be a little complicated, but gratifying and delicious. Also, all of the various techniques showcased here are valuable in their own right.
Handful black olives
1 tablespoon of capers
2 cloves garlic
1 red chilli
1 sheet of rice paper
1-2 tablespoons dried oregano
3-4 baby cucumbers and/or 1 regular cucumber
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2l full fat milk
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Apply a generous drizzle of oil to the lower baking sheet.
- Submerge the rice paper in a bowl of water and soak for one minute.
- Remove and dry using kitchen roll.
- Season generously with the dried oregano, salt and lemon zest.
- Fold in half, cut into wedge shapes and place on the oiled baking sheet, pressing the other baking down on top.
- Bake at 170°C for 8-10 minutes, or until crispy and transparent.
- Leave on a sheet of kitchen roll to soak up the excess oil.
- Chop the baby cucumbers brunoise, cut the cucumber skin into strips and slice the cherry tomatoes in half lengthways.
- Slice, blanche and peel the large tomatoes as shown in the video.
- Quarter half of the tomatoes, removing the core and cutting into concasse.
- Cut the remaining half of the tomatoes into thick slices.
- Marinate these thick slices in oregano, salt, vinegar and oil (in a vacuum-packed bag or in a bowl).
- Finely chop the chives, oregano and thyme.
- Chop the olives roughly, spread on a lined baking tray and bake in the oven at 170°C, for 8-10 minutes or until they are firm, dry and slightly crunchy.
- To make the curd, heat the milk in a large pan.
- Once it begins to boiling point and rise up the sides of the pan, turn the heat off, add the lemon juice and give it a gentle stir. Then leave it to cool for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lumps with a spoon and transfer to a sieve to drip dry.
- Season with a bit of salt and dried oregano.
- To make the sauce or vinaigrette, finely chop a clove of garlic and a section of a red chilli.
- Heat a glug of oil in a small pan on a high heat, adding the chopped thyme and oregano, then the capers.
- Add the garlic and chilli, and simmer for a few minutes.
- Finally, add the cherry tomatoes and stir.
- As the tomatoes begin to soften, add a little squeeze of lemon juice, plus the chopped baby cucumbers and heat through just before removing the pan from the heat.
- Assemble all the elements in the tomato salad and serve.