Tomato and Berry Salad with Tomato Water, Watermelon and Chives

Tomato and Berry Salad with Tomato Water, Watermelon and Chives



Tomato water
250g of plum tomatoes
4 basil leaves
100ml of champagne
sugar to taste

Compressed watermelon
1/2 watermelon, peeled and cut into 1cm thick slices

1 ciabatta, cut into very thin slices
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

6 tomatoes, a mixture of local varieties, halved or quartered (depending on size)
10 strawberries, hulled and halved
20 raspberries
1 mozzarella cheese
50g of dried olives, preferably Kalamata, finely chopped
10g of chives, finely chopped
5g of fennel cress
micro herbs, to garnish

50ml of extra virgin olive oil
25ml of malt vinegar, or beer vinegar if available


Serves 6

1. For the tomato water, place the plum tomatoes and basil leaves in a blender and blitz to form a rough purée

2. Line a colander or strainer with a muslin cloth and place over a bowl. Pour the purée into the cloth and place in the fridge to strain for 24 hours – this should result in a clear, golden liquid in the bowl

3. For the compressed watermelon, deseed the melon slices as much as possible and place in a vacuum bag. Seal with a chamber sealer to compress and reserve until ready to serve

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4

5. To make the croutons, place the ciabatta slices on a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then bake for 5 minutes until crisp and lightly toasted. Cool and store in an airtight container until ready to serve

6. Just before serving, discard the tomato purée from the sieve and add a little sugar to the strained tomato water to take the edge off the acidity of the tomatoes. Mix in the Champagne and set aside

7. Remove the watermelon from the vacuum bag and dice all except one of the slices into 1cm cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl and add the tomatoes, 12 of the strawberry halves and 12 of the raspberries

8. Gently toss the fruits together and divide between serving plates. Tear the mozzarella over the salads and scatter over pieces of the toasted croutons, the dried olives, cress and herbs to garnish. Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar for the dressing in a small bowl and drizzle over the salads

9. To finish, finely dice the remaining slice of compressed watermelon, the remaining 8 strawberry halves and 8 raspberries and divide between 6 shot glasses. Pour over the chilled tomato water and serve on the side of the salads

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Fact 02

Did You Know?

British tomato production amounts to about 92,000 metric tonnes per year - about a fifth of the total volume of tomatoes sold in the country through the year, and up to a half in the summer.

Roly Holt

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Roly Holt

R & L Holt is a family business in the historic Vale of Evesham originally formed in 1979 by Ric…

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