A quick spin on a classic: Tomato salad with capers anchovies, lovage oil and a hint of spicy tomato jam. The second part of this summer’s tomato special.
1.2kg san marzano & black beefsteak tomatoes
300g cane caster sugar
4tbsp red wine vinegar
2tbsp chilli flakes
Boil a pot of water, drop the tomatoes until the skin cracks (approximately 1 minute) and refresh in iced water. Peel the tomatoes and chop into big chunks.
Don't overcook the tomatoes at this point. You just want to peel the skin off and keep them as whole and fresh as possible in this step. The big chunks add a nice bite to the final jam, don’t cut them too fine!
Add all the jam ingredients to a shallow pan and start cooking on high heat until the mix comes to a boil.
Reduce the heat and continue to cook for approximately 1hr. The jam will slowly thicken and turn a deep red colour.
Once the jam has thickened, you should be able to lift it onto a spoon without it dripping too much. Adjust seasoning if needed and add a pinch of citric acid to balance off the sweetness (optional). Transfer to a jar and cool.
60g lovage (or any other herb such as dill, tarragon, parsley)
200ml extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch of salt
Boil a pot of water, drop the lovage and boil for 20 seconds or until the stalks and leaves have turned bright green. Refresh in iced water and press together with your hands to discard the excess water.
Add to a high-speed blender with the olive oil and salt and blend for 2 minutes until smooth.
Using a high-speed blender is essential here, as it will break down the blanched herbs and disperse the flavour into the oil. If you don’t have a blender, you can use a food processor, but try a 4 or 5 minute cycle instead.
Pass through a muslin cloth or stainless-steel filter and let the oil filter slowly. Discard the herb residue and store the oil in the fridge so it keeps its colour longer.
A few acidic tomatoes such as Heirloom or Zebra tomatoes
1 tin good quality anchovies
Fresh basil, parsley and tarragon
Chop the tomatoes in quarters or eighths depending on their size. In a bowl, dress them with some finely chopped parsley and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper and add a few tablespoons of the lovage oil. Mix well and lay the tomatoes onto a plate or bowl. Pour the juices from the bowl onto the cut tomatoes and add capers, anchovies and a spoonful of the tomato jam and finish with fresh basil.