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Heirloom tomato, tahini, baba ghanouj, mint, and grilled focaccia

Ingredients:2 large, ripe heirloom tomatoes30 heirloom cherry tomatoes (Sungold varietal preferred)100g tahini & cilantro dressing (recipe below)140g baba ghanouj (recipe below)15 mint leaves15 basil leaves3 slices of grilled bread (focaccia preferred)Olive oil (to taste)Maldon salt (to taste)

Method:

In a medium-sized pot, bring salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath and place on the counter next to your stovetop. Cut a very shallow “X” pattern on the bottom of our heirloom tomatoes and place gently into the boiling water and leave for 30 seconds. Transfer tomatoes with a slotted spoon to your ice bath and leave for 2 minutes to stop cooking process. Remove tomatoes from the ice bath and peel the skin. Cut the tomato in half and remove the core by cutting a V shape around the core (note: the core will extend deep into the tomato, so any visibly tough and pale parts of the stem should be removed). Cut tomatoes into 2.5cm wedges and reserve. Halve all cherry tomatoes and reserve. On a large platter, smear the tahini and cilantro dressing in a large shallow circle, leaving about an inch of clearance around the perimeter of the platter. Scatter both the tomato wedges and cherry tomatoes on top of the dressing and season with olive oil and a generous amount of Maldon salt. Tear basil and mint leaves into bite sizes and sprinkles around. Serve with grilled bread on the side, or cut the bread after it is grilled into crouton sized pieces.

Tahini & Cilantro Dressing

Ingredients:

100g tahini65g white wine vinegar60g water10g sesame oil55g canola oil10g kosher salt1 cilantro bunch1g cayenne pepper

Method:

In a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients. Puree slowly at first, and then increase speed as ingredients start spinning. Turn up to medium-high speed and blend until mixture is emulsified, but do not blend too long as the heat from the friction can brown the dressing. Transfer mixture to an airtight container – this will last approx. 5 days in the fridge.

Baba Ghanouj

Ingredients:

250g charred eggplant (Italian purple preferred)20g roasted garlic3g cumin, toasted and ground10g rice vinegar4g kosher salt20g tahini15g lemon juice

Method:

Char eggplants whole on a grill until burnt on the outside and soft on the inside. Reserve in a colander in the sink for 30 minutes to allow excess liquid to drain. Remove the stem off the eggplants and discard. Combine eggplants (skin and all) with all other ingredients in a food processor. Blend until mixture is smooth (approximately 2 minutes).

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