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    Jean-Christophe Novelli’s Two summer dressings & seasonal vegetables

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    Jean-Christophe Novelli’s Two summer dressings & seasonal vegetables

    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. 

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes + at least 60 minutes to infuse

    Makes: approximately 500ml


    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)
    450g Asparagus

    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

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