A gourmet take on a staple Italian caprese salad, the key elements is red, white and green because of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil and it represent the Italian flag colours… this dish is a MAJOR upgrade on the clear tomato soup with the use of DASHI to lift it to the next level.
FOR THE CAPRESE HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
200g heirloom tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp maldon salt
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp rapeseed oil
FOR THE BASIL EMULSION
150ml vegetable oil
150g fresh basil
1 egg yolks
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
FOR THE TOMATO DASHI CONSOMME
300g san marzano tomatoes
1 garlic clove
25g shiitake mushrooms
12g bonito flakes
3g soy sauce
thai basil micro cress
FOR THE TOMATO DASHI CONSOMME: Begin the day before with the tomato water. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz to form a loose purée then pour into a muslin cloth suspended above a bowl to catch the strained liquid dripping through. Leave to hang in the fridge overnight.
Place the kombu seaweed in a pan with the water and allow to soften for a few minutes before placing over a low heat, add the shiitake mushrooms and heat through to 90°C, skimming away any surface residue as it appears. Remove the kombu to prevent the broth from becoming too bitter, then add the bonito flakes and remove the pan from the heat. Leave the broth to sit for 30 seconds before straining through a muslin cloth into a clean pan. Allow to cool, then mix in the mirin and soy sauce. Sit well and reserve until needed.
Meanwhile, weigh out 500ml of the tomato water and discard the pulp left in the muslin cloth. Mix the tomato water with the cooled dashi broth.
FOR THE CAPRESSE HEIRLOOM TOMATOES: First need to blanch tomatoes, drop the tomatoes in boil water for 30-60 seconds then remove and immediately put the tomatoes in a bowl of ice- water, as they chill, you will see the skin start to pull away from the meat of the tomatoes, remove all the skin and reserve.
Place the heirloom tomatoes in a bowl with the sugar, salt, vinegar and a drizzle of rapeseed oil. Mix together thoroughly, then leave at room temperature to marinate for at least an hour or until ready to serve.
FOR THE BASIL EMULSION: Put the measured oil in the refrigerator while you prepare the basil. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Blanch the basil leaves in the boiling water for about 10 seconds. Remove them quickly with a strainer and dunk in the ice water, swishing them around to be sure they’re all cold. Remove from the water and squeeze gently to remove the excess water.
Put basil in a blender. Add the oil until the basil is puréed for about 5 minutes then strain through a cheesecloth- lined fine strainer, very gently pushing on the solids to extract the oil.
Put egg yolks, white wine vinegar, pinch salt in a clean blender and blend until it looks pale and fluffy, then pour the basil oil in thin stream and keep watching until the mixture becomes thick and creamy, reserve the emulsion in fridge until needed.
ASSEMBLE THE DISH: use a blow torch, blacken the heirloom tomatoes, then cut up into wedges and place in the centre of the bowl, pour basil emulsion around the tomatoes and decorate with mozzarella, edible flowers, Thai basil and pea shoots. Serve with tomato water and Japanese dashi consommé on the side to pour around the tomatoes.