Tomato Jelly (served with a crab salad)

Pea shoots set in tomato jelly, served with a simple crab salad and toasted pain levain.

A savoury tomato jelly

1.5 kg tomatoes

300 ml tomato juice

½ freshly squeezed lemon

1 whole red chilli

1-2 large shallots

2 cloves garlic (blanched in boiling water for 2 mins)

1 teaspoon celery salt

Good pinch of black pepper

4-5 springs of fresh basil leaves

Enough gelatine leaves to set approximately 700 ml of tomato liquid

Put all of your ingredients into a food processor and blitz it until as smooth as possible.

If you don’t have a jam stainer or muslin cloth, put a clean tea towel over a bowl and pour your tomato mixture into your clothe. Strain your tomato mixture, which will leave you with at least 700-800 ml of pale pink liquid (I ended up with almost a litre of liquid). Taste your tomato liquid and if you don’t feel it’s concentrated enough (which I didn’t), I set my tomato liquid on a gentle simmer and reduced the tomato ‘stock’ down to about 650 ml.

When you’re ready to make your jelly, place your gelatine leaves in cold water for a few minutes, then squeeze out the water before adding them to your tomato liquid.

If you’re not planning to set anything in the tomato jelly, then add your gelatine leaves, mix well, and then pour your tomato jelly liquid into your desired mould and allow it to set overnight.

I set some fresh pea shoots in the jelly, so to do that I allowed the jelly to cool completely before I reheated one ladle of tomato liquid in order to dissolve the gelatine leaves. I then mixed the hot liquid back into the rest of the tomato liquid, before pouring it over pea shoots – the lukewarm liquid ensured my salad leaves didn’t lose any colour.

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