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Tomato & basil dessert amuse



My greenhouse was absolutely stuffed with tomatoes, so we’re going to make a delicious tomato dessert amuse. It might sound strange to some, but tomatoes work so well in a dessert! We’re going to make marinated cherry tomatoes with a tomato granite and a beautiful basil oil.



The marinaded cherry tomatoes

100 grams

sushi vinegar

100 grams

white wine vinegar

150 grams

water

80 grams

sugar

3 sprigs

thyme

0.5

cinnamon stick

10

cardamom seeds

20

black pepper grains

1

star anise

1

lemon

1

lime

1

garlic clove

0.5

empty vanilla pod

5 sprigs

basil

Cherry tomatoes

Mix the sushi vinegar with the white wine vinegar, the water, the sugar, the thyme, the cinnamon stick, the cardamom seeds, the black pepper grains, the star anise, the peel from one lemon and the peel from one lime. Then cut both in half as well and add the juice to the pan. After cut the garlic fine and add it to the pan. Now finally also add the empty vanilla pod and then bring it to a boil on a high heat. Then directly turn off the heat, add the basil and let this cool down completely out of the fridge. Meanwhile we need to remove the skin from the cherry tomatoes. First remove them from the stem and bring a pot of water to a boil. Now make a little cross at the bottom of the tomatoes. This will shorten the time you need to blanch them and keep them nice and firm. Then blanch them for around 15 seconds on a high heat to really keep the water boiling. Once that’s done directly cool them down in ice water and leave them in the water for 5 minutes. You want to be sure that they are totally cold to prevent them from turning soft. After that gently peel away the skin. Now pass the marinade through a fine sieve on the tomatoes and mix it well to make sure the tomatoes are totally covered. Let this marinade in your fridge for at least 2 hours.



The tomato and star anise granite

800 grams

overripe tomatoes

1

shallot

100 grams

ginger syrup

50 grams

sushi vinegar

5 grams

salt

3 pieces

star anise

5

black pepper grains

Cut the overripe tomatoes in big pieces. Now cut the shallot in half and clean it. Transfer the tomatoes and shallot into a blender and also add the ginger syrup, the sushi vinegar, the salt, the star anise and the black pepper grains. Then blend this till smooth. Once smooth pour the base on a fine sauce sieve and press it through using a ladle so you don’t waste a single drop. Then clean the sieve and pass it through once more only this time don’t use a ladle but swirl the sieve so all the solids stay in the sieve. By doing it this way you safe a lot of time and still don’t waste a single drop. Now pour it into a big dish and let it freeze till completely frozen. Then once frozen use a fork to create a nice and fresh granite. Keep it in your freezer for later.



The basil oil

30 grams

basil leaves

150 grams

neutral oil (I use sunflower oil)

Mix the basil leaves with the neutral oil. I use sunflower oil. Then blend it till the oil is 65 degrees Celsius. It will heat up from the friction. Now feel the side of the blender to check the temperature or use a thermometer. Then pour it on a sieve that’s lined with a kitchen paper to clarify it. I was out of kitchen paper, but you can use a coffee filter as well. It just takes a bit more time. Let this drain in your fridge. Now you can keep it in your fridge for 7 days or in your freezer for many months.



How to finish the dish


First I freeze the bowl so the granite doesn’t melt so fast. Now place 5 of the marinate tomatoes in the middle and cover it completely with the granite. Drizzle some basil oil on top and then decorate it with lemon gem leaves and lemon gem flower peddles.

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