Don't be put off by the exquisite plating of this salad recipe, as it is actually very simple to prepare. Romesco is a popular sauce which is thought to originate from Catalunya. More often than not it includes red pepper, but in this romesco recipe Robert Thompson relies on tomatoes alone, so make sure these are good quality.
Robert Thompson's cooking is full of character and classical skill.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Place the tomatoes and bulbs of garlic on a lightly oiled baking tray and roast until the tomatoes are well coloured and the garlic bulbs are very soft (this should take approximately 30-35 minutes)
4 bulbs of garlic
Allow the tomatoes and garlic to cool slightly before gently squeezing out the seeds from each tomato. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins. Place the remaining pulp and skin from the tomatoes and the garlic cloves in a course sieve and rub through with the back of a ladle
In a hot pan, toast the almonds until golden brown, stirring them continuously as they toast
50g of whole almonds
In a blender, pulse the bread with the toasted almonds and roasted hazelnuts until fairly fine in texture. Add to the reserved tomato and garlic and mix well. Finish the romesco by adding the sherry vinegar, truffle oil, olive oil. Season well
50g of roasted hazelnuts
3 tbsp of sherry vinegar
100ml of olive oil
1 dash of truffle oil
1 slice of white bread
Dress all of the vegetables with a little olive oil and season lightly. Spread a little of the romesco across each plate. Place the vegetable ribbons on top of the sauce and finish each plate with 4 slices of ham and a handful of salad leaves