Tomato water with seabass, elderflower and oregano

  • 6
  • 45 minutes plus 2-3 weeks for the vinegar and time for the tomato water

This pretty starter recipe combines the delicate flavours of tomato, elderflower, oregano and fresh sea bass to create an aromatic and refreshing chilled broth. The elderflower vinegar takes 2-3 weeks to infuse, but the recipe makes a full bottle which will keep indefinitely and is a great way of preserving the hyper-seasonal ingredient long into the winter months. Use it in all sorts of salad dressings, seasonings and pickles

First published in 2022




Tomato water

Elderflower vinegar

  • 50g of elderflower, stalks removed
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 500ml of white wine vinegar

To serve


  • Blender
  • Muslin cloth



Begin by making the elderflower vinegar as it takes 2–3 weeks to infuse. Trim off any woody stalks from the elderflowers - they can taste quite sour. Pack 50g dry elderflowers heads into a sealable container with 50g sugar (or to taste) and 500ml white wine vinegar. Leave on a sunny windowsill for 2-3 weeks to infuse. Strain out the flowers and pour into a clean bottle and seal

  • 500ml of white wine vinegar
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 50g of elderflower, stalks removed

The tomato water takes 1–2 hours, but is best if left to strain overnight. Blitz the ingredients in a blender until coarsely chopped, then pour into a double-muslin-lined sieve over a bowl or jug. Place in the fridge and leave it to slowly drip through, this process enables you to capture a clarified liquid. Do not push the mixture or liquid through, let it drip through naturally. Leave in the fridge until ready to serve


Peel and slice cucumber into cubes that are between 0.5cm - 1cm in size. Dice the sea bass to the same size and put both in a bowl


Add some of the elderflower vinegar to season and gently mix to combine


Divide between the bowls and pour over the chilled tomato water. Finish with oregano leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 handful of oregano leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil

Following years spent working on yachts as a private chef, Harriet Mansell returned to South West England, where she grew up, to open her debut restaurant Robin Wylde. Both there and at her second restaurant Lilac, she imaginatively showcases her love of wild food, which has developed over the course of her career.

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