Our kitchen garden is bursting with produce and because we are now harvesting the first of our tomatoes, I am offering you a recipe we ate at my friend Rose Lloyd’s house in Provence – a delectably cool summer starter, perfect to serve in hot weather, which pays homage to the glorious flavour and simplicity of ripe tomatoes.
6 bocconcini (small rounds of buffalo mozzarella), sliced
a handful of basil leaves
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F, 180°C.
You will also need 6 ramekins.
Start off by placing the tomatoes in one layer in a roasting tin, tuck the herbs and garlic in amongst them and season with salt and pepper (note: there is no oil used for this).
Roast them for about 25-30 minutes until they are starting to burst. Next discard the herbs and garlic, then you can either put the roasted tomatoes through the medium disc of a mouli-légumes or (as I did) put them in a blender and whizz to a purée. If you use the blender you now need to press them through a fine sieve into a bowl.
Now soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of water for 5 minutes, and place the tomato mixture in a pan and heat gently (but do not boil). Squeeze the gelatine leaves, add them to the pan and stir until they have dissolved.
Then divide the mixture among 6 ramekins and pop them in the fridge to set.
To serve, dip the base of each ramekin in a bowl of very hot water, run a knife round the inside and turn out.
Decorate with tiny cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and either small slices of mozzarella or (if you can get them) some boconcini.