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Tomato Tartar with Cilantro and Tomato Jelly Recipe
Tomato Tartar with Cilantro and Tomato Jelly
Jean Bardet, anc. Château Belmont
Jean Bardet, anc. Château Belmont
The Cuisine of Tours
Total time: 30 to 60 minutes
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: Under 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note
The "Green Zebra" Tomato
Jean is passionate about the love apple, as the tomato was once known, and over the years he has grown some 140 varieties. The very first tomatoes to arrive from Peru and Mexico in the 16th century included yellow varieties, hence the Italian name pomodoro - fruit of gold. Happily these age-old tomatoes have made a comeback in recent years. The garden at Belmont includes the heirloom variety King Humbert with egg-shaped fruit, and the Blanche d'Angers, cream-coloured with markings on the sides. Jean sometimes organizes tomato tasting sessions. The foliage, though inedible, is deliciously aromatic; in fact, Nina Ricci recently created a perfume, "Les Belles," based on tomato-leaf essence.

Red tomatoes are certainly the richest in provitamin A, but all varieties are high in vitamin C and minerals, while being low in calories. Red tomatoes exert a sort of primitive fascination. Jean-Luc Hennig describes a traditional Catalan festival at which, for a brief fifteen minutes on the last Wednesday of August, the crowd throws tomatoes in every direction, each person trying to outdo the next, leaving the streets awash in red juice. Far removed from these sanguinary connotations, the "Green Zebra" variety should delight vegetarians with its fine golden stripes and sweet pulp.

Ingredients for 4 servings
- 4 large red Tomatoes
- 4 large yellow tomatoes
- 4 green tomatoes
- 4 pear tomatoes
- 100 ml (6 tbsp.) olive oil
- 1 small bunch of cilantro
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make a good tomato jelly, I extract the juice by letting the pulp and seeds drain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a saucepan. For each 250 ml (1 cup) of nice clear tomato juice, I add one leaf of gelatin that has been softened in warm water.

Aside from the jelly, this recipe is very easy to make: the disks of tomato, one against the other, are strikingly beautiful. I slice the tomatoes thickly (1.5 cm, or a generous half-inch) and cut various sizes of circles from the slices, using cutters of different diameters.

To serve
Using a small metal spatula, I gently place the disks onto the plates, followed by the tomato jelly. I season them with salt and pepper, sprinkle with olive oil and garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro.

Photo : solanaseeds.netfirms.com  Rare fruit seeds.

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