Ingredients

75g sugar
1kg heirloom tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
a few good sprigs basil
finely grated zest of 1 lemon, and juice of 1-1½ lemons
2 tablespoons vodka
1 teaspoon sea salt
TOMATO SALT
tomato skins, reserved from making the sorbet
sea salt
PINENUT & THYME BRITTLE
½ cup sugar
½ cup pinenuts
1 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves
½ teaspoon sea salt
TO SERVE
1 tub natural buffalo yoghurt (I used Clevedon Buffalo Co) or use a thick Greek-style yoghurt
tomato salt
3-4 tomatoes, diced
few basil leaves, shredded
extra virgin olive oil
tomato sorbet
pinenut brittle
Tomato works well as a sorbet; it is a fruit after all so that's not particularly surprising. On a hot day, added to a salad of tomatoes and buffalo yoghurt it makes a refreshing starter. I’m not fond of adding invert sugars or gums to the sorbet to keep it soft, so this will set quite hard and needs to be brought out from the freezer at least 20 minutes before eating to soften (or alternatively serve it straight from the churner). If you forget to bring it out early, don’t panic; use a fork to break up the sorbet and serve it as a granita over the salad. Any leftover sorbet is ideal to add to a Bloody Mary.

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Instructions

1.Put the sugar and 75ml water into a saucepan and bring to the boil so the sugar dissolves. Cool and refrigerate. This simple sugar syrup is great to make in large batches and keep in the fridge (for up to 1 month); it's useful for drinks, to add to summer fruit salads and such like.
2.Cut a cross in the base of the tomatoes and remove the core. Plunge into boiling water for 20-30 seconds, refresh in iced water then remove and set aside the skins.
3.Cut tomatoes in half and put a sieve over a bowl to catch the seeds, allowing any juice to drain into the bowl. Discard the seeds.
4.Add 600g tomato to the tomato juice and set aside.
5.Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and add the remaining 400g tomatoes, 1 tablespoon honey and the basil with a good seasoning of salt.
6.Cook for 15 minutes or until thick. Set aside to cool, then remove and discard the basil.
7.Put the fresh and cooked tomatoes in a blender with the sugar syrup, the lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, the remaining honey, vodka and sea salt. Blitz to a purée.
8.Once frozen, the flavours will dull a little, so you want the sorbet mix at this stage to be slightly sweeter than you want the finished sorbet to be (if necessary add a little more sugar or honey to the mix). Likewise you might want to add a little extra lemon juice to add some freshness. Chill the mix.
9.If you have an ice-cream machine, churn according to the instructions until frozen and creamy.
10.If you don’t have an ice-cream machine put the mix into the bowl of an electric mixer. Put into the freezer for an hour or so, bring out and beat with a whisk attachment. Return to the freezer and repeat 1-2 times until it reaches the desired consistency.
11.Once churned, transfer to an airtight container.
12.Keep in the freezer until required, for up to 5 days.
13.TOMATO SALT
14.If you have a dehydrator you can dry the tomato skins in there, or alternatively in a low oven for a few hours. But for a fast fix and bright vibrant colour the microwave wins hands down for this simple salt.
15.Spread out the tomato skins in a single layer on a double layer of paper towels and sprinkle with salt (you may need to do this in batches).
16.Microwave for 4 minutes, check and see if they are dry; if not, cook in 30 second bursts until they are.
17.Crumble in a spice grinder then mix with 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt. Keep in an airtight jar.
18.PINENUT & THYME BRITTLE
19.Put the sugar and ¼ cup water into a small saucepan and cook over a gentle heat until the sugar melts.
20.Keep cooking until the sugar caramelises to golden-dark brown.
21.Add the nuts and cook, stirring for a few minutes until golden, then add the thyme and sea salt.
22.Remove from the heat and pour onto an oiled baking tray.
23.Allow to cool, then break up the pieces.
24.Keep in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
25.TO SERVE
26.Put a spoonful of yoghurt on each plate and sprinkle generously with the tomato salt.
27.Toss the tomatoes with the basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
28.Add a spoonful to each plate along with a scoop of sorbet (or a sprinkle of granita) then scatter over the pinenut brittle. Serve immediately.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Jessica Hemmings

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