Peeled, marinated tomatoes with rocket and buffalo mozzarella (and Next)

“Je Veux d’l'amour, d’la joie, de la bonne humeur, ce n’est pas votre argent qui f’ra mon bonheur, moi j’veux crever la main sur le coeur papalapapapala allons ensemble, découvrir ma liberté, oubliez donc tous vos clichés, bienvenue dans ma réalité.” Lyrics from Zaz (rest of lyrics here)

Let me explain.

I recently read Life, on the Line by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas.  It was utterly captivating, even without the incredible and unbelievable part at the end where Achatz get’s tongue cancer.  It’s a must read for everyone that has ever thought that the grass is greener on the other side or that some people are just lucky in life while they are not (Totally been guilty of these indulgent thoughts in my time, by the way).  It’s a story about perseverence, about not taking no for an answer - ever, putting your eye on the prize (your perceived prize) and not stopping until you get it.  Being the best, getting as close to perfect as you possibly can.

And this just in: you can’t have it all.

Have I convinced you to read it yet?

After tremendous success with Alinea, Achatz and Kokonas have opened a second restaurant called Next.  This is the video promotion for it.  They chose the song “Je Veux” by French singer Zaz to accompany the video and those lyrics have been stuck in my head for 5 days now.

And now the recipe, which has nothing to do with anything above, except that doing something as fiddly as peeling cherry tomatoes seems like something Achatz would do.  The marinated tomatoes are from a Marcus Wareing recipe published in the book “The Good Food Guide: Recipes ” which my sister bought me for Christmas.  I wouldn’t bother with something like this in the summer when tomatoes are at their best but for now, this is a clever way to concentrate the tomato flavour and turn a rather boring salad into a delicious and intriguing one.

For more on the Grant Achatz & Nick Kokonas, check out this article in Fast Company

Buffalo mozzarella with marinated tomatoes, rocket and pine nuts
Serves 2

500g cherry vine tomatoes
15g tomato puree
small bunch of time
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 teaspoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
25 ml of balsamic vinegar
olive oil to cover the tomatoes
(recipe also calls for a good pinch of saffron but I am not a fan)
1 ball buffalo mozzarella
2 large handfuls of rocket
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the tomatoes in small batches for 1 minute. Transfer them to a bowl of cold water (I put ice in the water to make sure it’s really cold). Peel. Prick all over with a sharp knife and then set aside.
2. In a small saucepan (tiny) place all the other ingredients (except for the olive oil) heat gently. Whisk together and then pour over the tomatoes so they are all covered. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 12 hours. Then refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
3. Take some of the marinade out, whisk in some olive oil, taste and then season with salt and pepper. Toss the rocket in it so that it is evenly covered.
4. Put the dressed rocket on two plates, tear the mozzarella ball in half and put a half on each plate. Dot with tomatoes. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Give the plates another drizzle with a good olive oil.
5. Enjoy with some bread.

One Response to Peeled, marinated tomatoes with rocket and buffalo mozzarella (and Next)

  1. I’m with you, I think I’d skip the saffron. It’s pricey so I tend to use it sparingly anyway, but I think it’d get lost in this. Wonderful photos. It looks great.

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