Tartare de tomates

OK, this is just tomato salad presented in a trendy form. But draining and marinating the tomatoes really concentrates the flavour. Assuming your tomatoes have flavour in the first place. If all you’ve got are Dutch hothouse tomatoes, don’t bother.

This is good served with mild fresh goat or sheep cheese. But I think it would go well with fish too. Or thinly sliced raw vegetables (fennel, baby artichokes…). Maybe even roasted garlic. Note that you need to start preparing it at least 8 hours before you want to eat it.

I had a photo, but I deleted it! Oh well.

For 2-4 people, depending on the size of your ramekins.

5-6 ripe tomatoes
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsps olive oil
chopped fresh herbs (certainly basil, plus whatever else you fancy)
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
salt and pepper

Peel the tomatoes, then halve round the equator and remove the pips with a teaspoon. Cut into very small dice. Put them in a sieve and sprinkle generously with salt. Place the sieve over a bowl, and put a small plate or saucer on top of the tomatoes to weight them down, pressing it down well. Put the whole lot in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients and stir into the tomatoes. Line small ramekins or glasses with clingfilm and distribute the tomato mixture between them, pressing down well to make a compact mass. Fold the clingfilm over the top and return to the fridge for an hour.

To serve, turn out onto plates and remove the clingfilm. Add cheese or other ingredients and decorate with a sprig of fresh basil.

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