Ripe tomato and bread

Not yet rated

This tomato recipe from Ollie Dabbous might look simple, but it takes two days of prep to pull off. The result is well worth the effort, however – the tomato is stuffed with a mixture of bread, olive and tomato, before being marinated in and served with an intense tomato and basil essence.

First published in 2018
discover more:




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


To serve

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


  • Food processor
  • Blender
  • Fine sieve
  • Piping bags
  • Muslin cloth
  • Chamber sealer
  • Vacuum bags


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
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
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
Seal the tomatoes in a vacuum bag with the strained tomato essence and leave to compress overnight in the fridge
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
First published in 2018

After quietly honing his craft in some of the world’s best kitchens, Ollie Dabbous exploded onto the London food scene with his eponymous restaurant in 2012. Today, he’s at the helm of Hide – one of the most ambitious culinary projects the city has ever seen – showcasing his iconic ingredient-led cooking in stunning surroundings.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.

You may also like

Load more