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Tomato Tonnato

Only a tad more complicated than the Panzanella or the Oregano number, this is a moreish, mouth-puckering way to give those tomatoes the Venetian treatment.

Skye McAlpine writes that she had vitello tonnato – cold, sliced veal served like this – on the night before her wedding, and where Skye leads, I’m keen. I believe Ed Smith of Rocket and Squash fame (another ex-lawyer, and a very nice bloke) also has a recipe for this in On the Side – but I don’t have a copy so can’t tell you how his goes.

Anyway, tomato tonnato sounds fishy: it is and it isn’t. It’s a whack of umami and a salty freshness, and it actually goes with most things.

Serves 3 -4.

  • 6 large tomatoes

  • Half a lemon

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 2 anchovies

  • 120g drained tuna

  • 1 tsp English mustard

  • 1 peeled clove of garlic

  • Salt, pepper

  • Mustard greens, to serve

  1. Using a serrated knife, slice the tomatoes thickly.

  2. Blend two egg yolks, a squeeze of lemon, the anchovies, the tuna, the mustard and the garlic in a food processor or using a hand blender. Gradually add 100 ml olive oil, until you have a loose-ish mayonnaise – the consistency of hollandaise. If too thick, add a little water. Taste and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice as required.

  3. Lay the tomato slices on the mustard greens, drizzle with the sauce and finish with a good grind of black pepper.

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