Apart from spaghetti bolognese, I’ve never really been a huge tomato fan. Especially those watery flavourless tomatoes they put on sandwiches all year round. All of that changed when I tried my first Coeur De Boeuf tomato on a hot August day. A firm texture, almost meaty, hardly any watery seeds and a sweet -dare I say- nearly umami flavour. Coeur De Boeuf tomatoes are the Beyoncé of the tomato world: strong and unique. They don’t need to be put into a sauce or chopped up onto bruschetta. No, Coeur De Boeuf needs to be honoured in its divine simplicity. Thinly sliced and lightly seasoned, not as a blank canvas for other ingredients, but as a queen, to which other condiments bow and hold their breath.
Tomato season has started, so run to the nearest (farmers) market, get yourself some tomatoes and create this seemingly simple, but pretty perfect carpaccio.
For the carpaccio
1 ripe Coeur de Boeuf tomato
A couple of apple capers (if preserved in salt, make sure to rinse them well)
Couple of basil leaves
1 tablespoon of hemp oil or really good olive oil
1 tablespoon of high quality balsamic vinegar
Slice the Coeur de Boeuf in thin slices, coat in hemp oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper and let marinate for 30 minutes.
For the roasted onion
Peel and chop a medium sized sweet onion in half. Roast on 165°C for about an hour until the onion is soft and sweet. Slice into ribbons and let cool.
For the chickpea crackers
For the Lemony almonds (inspired by Julia Sherman)
¾ cup almonds
Zest and juice of 1 organic lemon
Good pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Roughly chop the almonds and coat them in the lemon zest and juice. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Mix the almonds with sea salt and olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir and bake again for 10 minutes. The almonds should be caramelised and crispy.
Finish the carpaccio with capers, basil leaves, roasted onion, crackers and almonds.