The essence jelly and granite should be made one day in advance. The sorbet can be prepared half a day in advance and churned one hour before serving. Place the plates and sake glasses in the freezer one hour before serving. Equipment and preparation: you will need a sorbetière or ice cream maker.
200ml/7fl oz tomato essence
½ bronze gelatine leaf, soaked in cold water until softened, drained
1 red pepper, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1cm/½in squares
4 tomatoes (one each and preferably Green Zebra, Yellow Butterfly, Black Russian and Caro Rich), cut into small wedges
1 small handful fresh baby herb tops and flowers, plus extra for garnish
1 pinch cayenne pepper
200ml/7fl oz tomato essence
1 large tomato, quartered, pips and skin removed
4 heritage tomatoes, cores removed, cut into different shapes
1 small shallot, finely sliced
1 small fresh basil leaf, torn
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp white wine vinegar
1 small pinch sea salt
1 small pinch black pepper
1 head Little Gem lettuce, cut in half, leaves separated
80g/3oz buffalo mozzarella, roughly torn into small pieces
320ml/11fl oz tomato essence, chilled
4 sake glasses, chilled
For the jelly, lightly oil an empty ice cube tray.
Place two tablespoons of the tomato essence into a small non-reactive pan set over a low heat. Add the drained gelatine leaf and stir until dissolved. Pour the gelatine mixture back into the remaining tomato essence and stir well.
Pour a thin layer (about 2-3mm thick) of the essence into the bottoms of the ice cube trays and chill in the fridge for ten minutes, or until the jelly starts to thicken slightly.
Cut the pips from the wedges of tomato carefully. (Discard the flesh or use in another recipe.) Carefully dot the tomato pips on top of the slightly set jelly along with the red pepper cubes, baby herbs and flowers. Spoon over the remaining jelly until the ice cube tray is full. Place into the fridge to set overnight.
For the granite, place the tomato essence into a freezer-proof container and freeze overnight.
For the sorbet, place two tablespoons of the tomato essence into a small non-reactive pan set over a low heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool, then pour the mixture back into the remaining tomato essence.
Pour the mixture into a sorbetière and churn for 6-10 minutes to a sorbet consistency. Alternatively, place the sorbet mixture into an ice cream machine and churn to a sorbet consistency. (Once churned, the sorbet must be served within 2-3 hours; due to its low sugar content, it will soon crystallize and harden.)
Using two warmed spoons, shape the tomato sorbet into four quenelles and place onto a frozen tray. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
For the tomato and mozzarella salad, mix together the tomatoes, shallot, basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt and freshly ground black pepper and leave for up to one hour to marinate.
For the tomato essence cup, fill the chilled sake glasses with the tomato essence.
To serve, place a tomato essence cup in the centre of each of four large long plates. Carefully turn the tomato jelly out of the ice cube tray and place one jelly cube on one side of the cup. Place a small Little Gem leaf to the other side of the sake glass and top with some of the tomato salad, dotting with pieces of mozzarella. Place a tomato quarter at one end of the plate and scrape some granite on top. Place a basil leaf at the other end of the plate and top with a quenelle of sorbet. Garnish the plate with the reserved tomato flesh and extra baby herb tops and flowers.
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