250g of plum tomatoes
4 basil leaves
100ml of champagne
sugar to taste
1/2 watermelon, peeled and cut into 1cm thick slices
1 ciabatta, cut into very thin slices
freshly ground black pepper
6 tomatoes, a mixture of local varieties, halved or quartered (depending on size)
10 strawberries, hulled and halved
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
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.
This recipe is in collaboration with Great British Chefs.
Did You Know?
The British tomato industry has a glasshouse area of 200ha, that’s twice the area of all the football pitches added together in the British professional leagues and getting bigger!