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Ripe tomato and bread

  • Starter
  • challenging
  • 8
  • 2 hours 30 minutes, plus 48 hours for the tomato essence, 24 hours for the pappa al pomodoro and marinated olives and 2 hours marinating time

PT2H30M

PT74H

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Ingredients

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Metric

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Tomato essence (prepare 48 hours in advance)

Tomatoes (prepare a day in advance)

Pappa al pomodoro (prepare a day in advance)

Marinated black olives

  • 100g of Kalamata olives, unpitted
  • 100ml of high-quality olive oil, Ollie recommends using Crete Gold
  • 1 sprig of rosemary

Garlic oil

  • 18g of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1g of salt
  • 100g of olive oil
  • 100g of vegetable oil

Dressing

To serve

  • 24 basil leaves, halved
  • 30ml of high-quality olive oil, Ollie recommends using Crete Gold
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Method

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1
Begin by preparing the tomato essence, as this will need to be started 2 days in advance of serving the dish. Mix together all of the ingredients and leave them to marinate in the fridge for 6 hours. After this time, pulse in a food processor until you are left with a coarse mixture
2
Line a colander or sieve with 2 layers of muslin cloth and set over a deep bowl, ensuring that the bottom of the colander does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Tip the tomato mixture into the colander, place in the fridge and leave to drip through overnight
3
The next day (the day before you plan to serve the dish) cut a small cross in the bottom of the plum tomatoes, making sure you cut the skin but not the flesh. Blanch them in rapidly boiling water for 10 seconds, then transfer to an ice bath to cool quickly. Peel the tomatoes, leaving the stem attached at the top, then slice off the bottom of the tomatoes and carefully scoop out the seeds from inside, making sure not to pierce the flesh of the tomato
4
Seal the tomatoes in a vacuum bag with the strained tomato essence and leave to compress overnight in the fridge
5
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3
6
For the pappa al pomodoro, combine the cherry tomatoes, a dash of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pinch of sugar in a roasting tin and place in the oven for 20 minutes
7
Blend the roasted tomatoes and strain through a fine sieve, using a spatula to make sure as much flesh as possible is pushed through. Set aside
8
Core and finely dice the large tomatoes. Finely slice the garlic and sweat in a dash of olive oil for 30 seconds until soft and fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes
9
Remove from the heat and add the vinegar, the bread and the sieved cherry tomato mixture. Place in a piping bag then refrigerate and leave overnight to allow the flavours to mingle
  • 2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 60g of stale bread, white, crust removed, torn into 2cm pieces
10
On the same day, marinate the olives. Rinse the olives under running water for 3 minutes, then remove the stones and slice them into thirds. Cover with the oil and rosemary and leave to marinate overnight
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 100g of Kalamata olives, unpitted
  • 100ml of high-quality olive oil, Ollie recommends using Crete Gold label
11
For the garlic oil, mix together the garlic and salt, then place in a pan with the vegetable oil. Heat until the garlic very gently starts to fry, then remove from the heat. Pour into another cold pan, then add the olive oil to stop the garlic cooking. The garlic flavour should not be toasted, but not raw either – mellowed by the cooking process but still with a slight kick. Strain through a fine sieve and leave to develop overnight
  • 100g of vegetable oil
  • 18g of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1g of salt
  • 100g of olive oil
12
On the day of you plan to serve the dish, make the dressing. Blend together the white balsamic vinegar, 150g of the garlic oil, the salt and sugar until emulsified
  • 180g of white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
13
Slice the garlic in half and rub it around the inside of a small, deep-sided dish. Remove the tomatoes from the vacuum bag, making sure to reserve and chill the tomato essence
14
Pour a small amount of the dressing into the base of the dish, then place the tomatoes on top in a single layer, with the stem on the bottom. Spoon a small amount of dressing into the cavity of each tomato, then brush all over with the remaining dressing. Scatter the basil and rosemary over the top. Refrigerate for 2 hours, then remove the herbs
15
When ready to serve, stuff each tomato with half a basil leaf then pipe in the pappa al pomodoro until the tomato is half full. Add 4 slices of olive, then another halved basil leaf and fill with the rest of the pappa al pomodoro
16
Place half a basil leaf in the base of each serving dish, then sit the tomato on top. Drizzle olive oil around the outside. Serve the tomatoes with a jug of the chilled tomato essence to be poured into the bowl at the table
  • 8 basil leaves, halved
  • 30ml of high-quality olive oil, Ollie recommends using Crete Gold label
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