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May Recipe of the Month

A seasonal recipe from our Head Chef, Joshua Hunter

Salad of Heirloom Tomatoes, Seaweed Aioli,
Artichoke Hearts, Basil and Sourdough Croutons

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This is a delicious, light starter or side dish that utilises the abundance of British tomatoes that come into season in June. We use Isle of Wight Heirloom tomatoes because of their incredible sweetness and herbaceous nature -  they are now available in many good greengrocers and some supermarkets. They are also delightfully colourful and look stunning on the plate.

Serves 6 as a starter


1 Jar of good quality cooked artichoke hearts

1Kg of Heirloom tomatoes (preferably Isle of Wight)

For the basil oil:

3 bunches of basil, picked from the stalks (about 100g picked weight)

50g spinach

200ml light rapeseed or sunflower oil

For the Aioli:

3 egg yolks

100g cooked and cooled potato (this can be baked in the oven and scooped out)

3 cloves garlic, minced

50ml water

Lemon juice to taste

225ml good rapeseed oil

175ml olive oil


Pinch cayenne pepper

50g of Nori seaweed, blitzed into a powder in a food processor

For the croutons:

Half a loaf of sourdough with crusts removed, torn into pieces

75ml olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 cloves of garlic

1 sprig of rosemary

For the tomato dressing:

110ml sherry vinegar

5g mustard powder

25g salt

3 cloves grated garlic

5g ground white pepper

70g Demerara sugar

450ml Rapeseed oil

450ml Olive pomace oil


First make the basil oil. Put the oil, basil and spinach into a high-powered blender and blitz until bright green and hot (about 3 mins) pass directly through a muslin cloth onto a bowl over ice to chill (you can also purchase a herb oil and skip this step!).

To make the croutons, tear the bread roughly, mix with the olive oil and roast in the oven at 170C for about 10 mins until crispy but not rock solid.

Make the tomato dressing by combining all ingredients in a blender or a bowl with a whisk.

To make the Aioli, blend the potato, egg yolk, garlic, lemon juice and cayenne in a blender until smooth. Then gradually pour in the oil to make a thick emulsion. Add the seaweed powder at the end and adjust the seasoning and acidity to taste.

Cut the tomatoes into rough shapes, some sliced and some wedges. Dress well with the dressing (you will have excess dressing remaining for another day) and arrange on the plate with the aioli. 

Chargrill or blow torch the artichokes and cover with a little more of the dressing. Pop the croutons on top. Finish with some basil oil and enjoy!