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