A Summer Sungold Tomato Dish
Chef Barry celebrates the season with market produce at peak flavor.
In recent years we are returning to the notion of responsible, ethical and informed sourcing of our ingredients. After years of elaborate processing of our ingredients to wow guests and fill our creative desires, it has become ever more apparent that sometimes, nature provides a humbling level of excellence, and we as chefs can step back and let nature do the talking.
Tomatoes can and should be one of the most amazing ingredients we have to work with. The plant's complex flavor and impressive variety are often overlooked when generic, uniformly tasteless varieties fill supermarket shelves.
The beautiful heritage, or heirloom, tomatoes we find at farmers markets are just the type that nature intended to showcase. A deep, sweet flavor is brought to market perfectly in season at its peak. Market tomatoes are, for me, always the best choice. You can ask the grower or vendor where they came from and how far they have traveled to understand their flavors and make informed decisions about how best to prepare them.
At a New York market in the summer, sungold are among the local varieties. The champion of the tomato world, sungold is deliciously sweet with incredible depth of flavor. Here, I used it to prepare a very simple chilled tomato broth infused with fresh lemon balm. Fresh farmers market cottage cheese and some German rye croutons work well here because fresh, local, light and clean flavors work together.
Heritage Tomato, Sungold Tomato Broth, Lemon Balm and Cottage Cheese
Yields 4 servings
- 20 heritage tomatoes
- Sea salt, to taste
- Blanch heritage tomatoes in salted water.
- Refresh in iced water, peel and set aside.
Sungold Tomato Broth
- 450 grams sungold tomatoes
- 5 grams sea salt
- 20 grams shallot, sliced
- 5 grams basil leaves
- 7 grams chardonnay vinegar
- 7 grams lemon balm leaves
- 2 stems lemon thyme
- Cut tomatoes evenly.
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Strain into double-lined cheesecloth and leave to hang in the refrigerator overnight.
- Strain juice again through cheesecloth.
- Add to a saucepan and reduce liquid by half.
- Place into a container and add lemon thyme and lemon balm leaves. Leave to cool.
- Check seasoning and strain once more.
- 100 grams sliced rye bread
- Olive oil, to taste
- 1 confit garlic clove
- Maldon sea salt, to taste
- Dice bread and leave to dry.
- Mix well with olive oil, and confit garlic along with a pinch of sea salt.
- Place in a preheated oven at 190 C/375 F for around 12 minutes until evenly colored.
Lemon Balm Oil
- 100 grams lemon balm leaves
- 200 grams grapeseed oil
- Blanch leaves in boiling water very briefly.
- Refresh in iced water, strain and pat dry.
- Blend leaves and grapeseed oil on high until almost smooth.
- Bring to a rapid fry on induction to remove excess moisture.
- Immediately strain into a container over iced water.
- Strain though cheesecloth
- Sungold tomato broth
- Heritage tomatoes
- Fresh cottage cheese
- Lemon balm oil
- Marigold petals
- Lemon balm leaves
- 8 rye croutons
- Maldon sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Dress the heritage tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.
- Place the tomatoes in a circular formation in a bowl.
- Top with cottage cheese and rye croutons.
- Mix tomato broth and lemon balm oil and drizzle in the center of the tomatoes.
- Finish with marigold petals and lemon balm leaves.