The First Dish

So here it is. The idea was to create a dish out of the items that were growing in our backyards/patios.

Idea

And so we gathered…

Picking Tomatoes

Wild Fennel

Wild Fennel

Purple Basil

Purple Basil

Guava

These guavas are the size of pears.

Tomatoes

Beautiful, sweet, vine ripe tomatoes.

Green Tomatoes

And some not so ripe…

Leaves and Blossoms

A few tomato leaves and blossoms.

Guava puree 1

The guava was peeled and pulsed in the blender with a bit of water. It’s important not to over puree and break up the seeds.

Guava puree 2

The puree was then strained twice.

Guava sauce

I finished the puree with a bit of salt and pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil. I only slightly incorporated the oil into the puree with a spoon. This is not an emulsification and when plated there should be a seperation of the puree and oil.

Tomato Ice

Tomato Ice – Puree the ripe tomatoes with a bit of water. Salt and pepper the liquid, strain it, and place in a metal container in the freezer. With a fork scrape the mix every 15 minutes or so. The end result is a vibrantly flavored savory ice.

Sonoma County Creme Fraiche

Seasoned creme fraiche

I purchased a Sonoma County Creme Fraiche and mixed in salt and pepper.

Fried Green Tomato prep

Fried Green Tomatoes

The green tomatoes were cubed and dredged in salted corn meal. They were then shallow fried in a pan.

Tomato

Plating

The plate up… The tomato was finished with a bit of the wild fennel pollen.

And here is the end result. The dish was essentially a play on a caprese. Balsamic of course isn’t readily available locally, so the guava is meant to replace that aspect of the dish. Its not quite the same but works in a strange way. The hot and cold of the fried green tomato and ice also made the dish quite interesting. Using creme fraiche in place of mozarella or burrata brought a real lightness as well.

Plate up 3

Plate up 1

Plate up 4

“Caprese” – Tomato, tomato ice, fried green tomato, tomato leaf and blossom, purple basil, guava ‘vinaigrette’, creme fraiche.

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