This dish would be great as a starter, but both have uses in their own right: The vinaigrette will keep for 2 weeks as a salad dressing and the tomato oil can be used on pizzas and in a pasta sauce.
Jean-Christophe Novelli’s Two summer dressings & seasonal vegetables
For the Tomato and Vanilla Infused Oil
1 kg plum tomatoes, core removed and diced
2 tsp clear honey
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ vanilla pod (sliced lengthways)
1 tbsp tomato purée
10 basil leaves
400ml extra virgin olive oil
½ lemon, juiced
3 garlic cloves (crushed)
For the Vinaigrette de Maman Novelli
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 shallots, finely diced
2 tsp mustard (French or English)
2 tbsp sherry vinegar or mature balsamic vinegar
1 sprig of rosemary
1 sprig of thyme
Approximately 100ml extra virgin olive oil
Approximately 200ml hot water
2 ripe avocados, halved and stoned
Honey, to taste
For the tomato and vanilla infused oil:
1. Heat all the diced tomatoes gently in a pan until they reduce a little. Add the honey, paprika, tomato puree, vanilla and basil leaves and continue to reduce slowly. Once the consistency resembles a tomato pulp, add the crushed garlic and set aside.
2. The next part of the recipe is very important for the best results – be sure not to stir at all. Add the olive oil to the tomato pulp and swirl the pan gently. Cover with a lid and leave to infuse for a minimum of one hour.
3. Using a fine sieve or a coffee filter, strain the contents of the pan into another bowl and add the lemon juice. The oil can then be stored in a jar for several day and used in many ways.
4. Put the asparagus in a hot pan with a little water and cover. Steam for 1 minute, or until tender. To serve, drizzle the oil over asparagus.
For the Vinaigrette:
1. Mix all of the ingredients except the oil and hot water, and place in a jar. Then, fill the jar with a combination of oil and boiling water – the quantities will differ depending on the size of your jar, but you should follow a ratio of one part oil to two parts water.
2. Seal the lid and, once cooled, place into the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes. Do not open the lid until the contents are completely cold. Add honey to taste (optional).
3. Halve the avocados and pour a little vinaigrette into the well in the halved avocados to serve.
Recipes from Simply Novelli by Jean-Christophe Novelli published by Relish Publications
- Preparation time: 10 minutes + at least 60 minutes to infuse
Makes: approximately 500ml
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