Piccolo tomato consommé with crab, marinated tomatoes and brioche croutons

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This stunning tomato recipe showcases the fruits at their very best. The set consommé is topped with lightly marinated tomatoes, sweet crab meat and crunchy croutons, with the fresh flavour of dill throughout. A fantastic starter for a dinner party, all the elements can be made in advance.

First published in 2019




Tomato consommé

  • 500g of Piccolo tomatoes
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • basil, 1 small bunch
  • 1 gelatine leaf, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes before using

Marinated tomatoes


Brioche croutons

To serve


For the consommé, keep any stalks and green tops intact and thoroughly blend the tomatoes with the salt, sugar and basil. In the fridge hang the tomato pulp in two sheets of muslin over a non-reactive bowl and allow to drip overnight
The next day, measure out 250ml of the liquid and gently warm through. Squeeze the leaf of gelatine to drain it and stir into the liquid until dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature and then pour a couple of millimetres into 4 shallow starter bowls. Place in the fridge to set
  • 1 gelatine leaf, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes before using
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
To make the marinated tomatoes, blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds then transfer to iced water. Peel the tomatoes and cut each one in half from the top. Place cut-side up on a tray just big enough to take them all in one layer and sprinkle with a little olive oil, salt, sugar, dill and a few grinds of pepper. Place in the oven for 3 minutes, then remove and allow to cool
Check the crab for any pieces of shell or cartilage, place in a bowl and stir through the crème fraîche, apple, cucumber and dill. Check the seasoning and chill in the fridge
Dice the brioche and gently fry in a little olive oil in a wide non-stick pan until just golden all over. Drain well and season with salt
To serve, place 6 of the tomato halves randomly in a single layer on top of the set consommé in each of the bowls. Between the tomatoes, place teaspoons of the crab mixture. Sprinkle with brioche croutons and then place the dill sprigs around. Just before serving, pass the lemon over your grater just once over each bowl so the dishes are seasoned with a little of the lemon zest and oil

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Matthew Tomkinson’s elegant and highly accomplished food earned him a Roux Scholarship in 2005, as well as Michelin stars at The Goose and The Montagu Arms. He now cooks classically influenced comforting dishes at Betony at The Kings Head in Wiltshire.

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